Chinese Engagement with Africa: The Case of Madagascar


  • Gregory Veeck

    Sokhna H. A. Diop


  • Journal of Economic Literature

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Using field work in Madagascar as the foundation for a case study, two U.S.-based geographers examine the complex relations developing between many African nations and the Chinese government as well as ethnic Chinese citizens and guest-workers who live and work in Africa. The study investigates changes in the perceptions of Malagasy citizens of the Chinese presence and long-term effects of Chinese investments in Madagascar’s economy. Although the Chinese living in Madagascar tend to be viewed as “cut from the same cloth,” the study demonstrates that there is considerable differentiation depending on the length of residence, rates of intermarriage with Malagasy citizens, and feelings toward the recent “economic” immigrants and guest workers. The paper integrates archival data with interviews involving recent Chinese guest-workers living in Antananarivo in 2011 as well as results of a systematic survey of most active French-language “blogs” dedicated to Sino-Malagasy relations, with the goal of presenting a comprehensive account of past and present Chinese influences and behavior in Madagascar.

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