Select a language for instant Google Translation

Dr Cobus van Staden

Position: Senior Researcher: China-Africa

Programme: Governance and Foreign Policy Programme

Areas of Research Expertise:

  • China-Africa relations
  • Wider Asia-Africa relations
  • Public diplomacy


Cobus van Staden completed his PhD in Japanese studies and media studies at the University of Nagoya in Japan in 2008. He expanded his work to comparisons between Japan and China during postdoctoral positions at the University of Stellenbosch, and the SARCHI Chair on African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy at the University of Johannesburg, before joining the Department of Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2013. His focus on China-Africa relations is further developed through the multi-platform China-Africa Project, which includes the China in Africa Podcast, the most prominent podcast dedicated to China-Africa relations, which is downloaded about 30,000 times per month.

Languages spoken:

  • English
  • Japanese
  • Afrikaans
  • Mandarin (basic)

Recent Publications:

  • Forthcoming (2018) “Helper and threat: How the mediation of Africa-China relations complicates the idea of the global south” in Iqani, M. and Resende, F. (eds) Media and the Global South: Narrative Territorialities, Cross-cultural Currents.
  • Forthcoming (2018), “Hong Kong and Japanese Media in South Africa” in Mine, Y. & Cornelissen, S. (eds.) Migration and Agency in a Globalizing World: Afro-Asian Encounters, Routledge.
  • Forthcoming (2018), “Media as a Site of Contestation in China-Africa Relations” (co-authored with Yu-Shan Wu), Alden, C. & Large, D. New Directions in the Study of Africa and China, UK Social Sciences Research Council
  • Forthcoming (2018), “Japanese Cultural Globalizations at the Margins: Towards a Method” in Fujiki, H. and Phillips, A. (eds.). The Japanese Cinema Book, British Film Institute.
  • 2017 “One Belt One Road and East Africa: Beyond Chinese Influence” China Brief 17:4 .
  • 2017 “Watching Hong Kong martial arts film under apartheid”, Journal of African Cultural Studies 29:1, 46-62
  • 2017 “Pechina avanza perché noi non sappiano più osare” (Original title: ‘China and the World: How One Belt One Road Could Shape the 21st Century’) Revista Italiana di Geopolitica 1/2017.145-151
  • 2016 “Chinese Public Diplomacy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenging our Ideas of Public Diplomacy” Public Diplomacy Magazine 15.
  • 2015 “Chewing on Japan: Japanese Public Diplomacy and Kenny Kunene’s Nyotaimori Incident”, Critical Arts 29:2, 107-125


Email address: cobus.vanstaden[@]