Author: Pádraig Carmody, Ian Taylor.
The Chinese government and its companies have dramatically increased their presence in Africa in the last decade. There has been much media interest and commentary on the impacts of this engagement on governance in Africa, as it is often seen to be strengthening authoritarian states, such Sudan and Zimbabwe. 1 However, Chinese actors are also engaging with more democratic states and spaces, such as Zambia. This article seeks to explore the impacts of increased Chinese engagement with Africa on governance through a comparative case study of two contrasting cases: Sudan and Zambia, using the concept of flexigemony. Contrary to popular perception, behaviour by Chinese actors has sometimes been a moderating force in Sudan, while provoking violence in Zambia.