For the UK, Taiwan Could Provide an Alternative to Confucius Institutes

Written by Adrienne Wu and Marshall Reid. For the United Kingdom, 2022 was a year of significant change, particularly in its approach to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Following years of relatively cordial UK-PRC relations, London followed the example of many other European states by shifting to a far more sceptical, confrontational policy toward Beijing. While this transformation was the product of various factors—from growing concerns regarding China’s human rights abuses to rising awareness of the PRC’s coercive economic policies—it was heavily influenced by domestic political manoeuvring. Nowhere was this more evident than in the competition between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister, in which both candidates sought to frame themselves as the most tough-on-China. In a move emblematic of this game of China-sceptic one-upmanship, Sunak made the bold claim that he would close all of the UK’s remaining Confucius Institutes, the PRC’s international Mandarin language learning centres.

Beijing’s Rise and Taiwan’s Decline in Africa: What Does the African University Tell Us?

Written by Tobi Oshodi. China has positioned itself among many African leaders as the most strategic player on the continent; a leading development partner. As the former Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade, bluntly put it: a one hour meeting with former Chinese President Hu Jintao in the executive suite of his hotel in Berlin was more useful than the G8 meeting “where African leaders were told little more than that G8 nations would respect existing commitments.”