*Carmen Amado Mendes
The China-Lusophone Brief will publish a series of articles this week, as the result of collaboration with the Macau Scientific and Cultural Centre (also known as CCCM). CCCM is a scientific research centre based in Lisbon with the mission of producing, promoting, and disseminating knowledge about Macau and China in general, acting as a platform between Portugal and the People’s Republic of China, as well as between Europe and Asia. This issue is particularly a product of the CCCM China Conferences, which are held annually in the spring and in which the authors participated.
This journal contains six articles in total, all of them dealing with China’s foreign policy on some level or another. This analysis on China’s actions and impact abroad will operate on a different scope and focus depending on the article.
The first article will have a wide, general look at what is China’s main and most expansive foreign policy venture: the Belt and Road Initiative. The second and third articles will comparatively narrow down their focus to the relationship between China and the European Union. The fourth article, which will approach China’s relationship with Portuguese-speaking countries, will serve as a bridge between the previous Europe-focused articles and the fifth article, which will explore China’s activities in Africa. Finally, still on the continent of Africa, the final article will be the most specific of the group, focusing solely on Sao Tome’s economy (which will inevitably touch upon its relationship with China, although the later will not be as prominent as in the previous articles).
The first article, by Dennis Zuev, is titled “Visual Studies of Infrastructure: the case of the Belt and Road Initiative”. Operating under the notion that the complexity of international studies cannot be grasped by words alone, it attempts to characterize the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative with the help of the existing visual material (photos, drawings, documentaries, promotional material, etc.).
The second article, “2) EU-China Relations In The First 20 Years Of The 21st Century”, by Joana Barros Silva, summarizes the modern history of China’s relationship with the European Union.
The third article, “ENRICH in China: Initiative to Boost EU-China Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation”, by Sara Medina, discusses EU-China Talent Exchanges and European Comission initiatives that involve both regions.
The fourth article, “China’s outward Foreign Direct Investment in Portuguese Speaking Countries and the role of Macau Forum“, by authors José Luís Sales Marques and Hayan Zhang, talks about the rising trade and FDI flows between China and Portuguese Speaking countries, and how the Macau Forum was an important factor for these developments.
The fifth article is “The New Chinese Military Strategy in Africa”, by Luís Manuel Brás Bernardino. It chronicles how China’s military policy in Africa evolved from “uncompromising non-involvement” to a “selective and incremental engagement in the bilateral, regional and global cooperation in peace and safety matters”.
Finally, the sixth article evaluates the global uncertainties and structural weaknesses of Sao Tome’s economy, and concludes that São Tomé and Príncipe’s structural problems worsened significantly in the second half of the last decade due to a series of internal and external factors (the latter which involve China as well).
* President of the Macau Scientific and Cultural Centre