China opens its first political party school in Africa – Eurasia Review

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China has completed its first political party school in Tanzania, East Africa. For the first time, it welcomed students from six African countries. All participating political entities have governed their countries continuously since independence. According to news agencies, 120 executives from African ruling parties are attending the workshop at the $40 million facility in Tanzania funded by the Chinese Communist Party.

The construction of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School in Kibaha, 40 km from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, was funded by the six ruling parties of southern African countries. Additional support has come from the ruling party in Beijing through its International Liaison Department, the bureaucracy responsible for promoting Chinese ideology abroad and cross-party diplomacy.

The school provides a platform for China to enhance exchanges with leaders as a form of “party-to-party” diplomacy. Like many Southern African countries, Tanzania was heavily influenced by Maoism and the Communist Party in the 1960s and 1970s under the leadership of founding President Julius Nyerere.

Although Sino-African relations have shifted almost entirely to economic engagement, with China’s presence in Africa increasingly associated with mega infrastructure projects, echoes of Chinese socialism can still be heard in Tanzania, as well as in many other countries on the continent.

Political parties in South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe are always looking to learn from China’s governance and economic model. Observers say no African country has fully embraced the Chinese “model”, but most like some of its elements, such as a one-party state or state-led development.

In recent years, the party has intensified its efforts to cement its political relations with African ruling parties, inviting hundreds of their leaders on “study tours” to China each year.

The approach remained consistent from the 1990s, when Beijing began aggressively promoting the “Chinese form of governance” in Africa, until Covid-19 put an end to any form of gathering that risked spread the virus further, although some meetings continued to be held virtually. .

Song Tao, then head of the International Department of the Party’s Central Committee, delivered a virtual speech to participants of the Southern Africa Youth Cadres Workshop in early June, highlighting the long-term friendship and shared concepts of the gone.

“In the face of changes and the pandemic unprecedented for a century, the CPC is ready to strengthen the exchange of experience in state governance and administration with the six parties,” said Song, who has since replaced by Liu Jianchao, a veteran diplomat. .

Jean-Pierre Cabestan, senior researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research and research professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, said in a recent article published by the National Bureau of Asian Research that “in sub-Saharan Africa, the CPC focused on ruling parties rather than opposition parties and countries that matter to the Chinese economy.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also the party’s general secretary, responded to a letter from workshop participants in the hope that they would “take an active part in the cause of China-Africa friendship, carry and convey the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation,” according to the South China Morning Post.

The Chinese Communist Party has established relations with 110 political parties in 51 out of 54 countries, as reported in a white paper released by Beijing following the 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal.

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