Politicization of Putonghua in Africa misleading

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The politicization of the increasing use of Putonghua across African countries has created a narrative that is entirely misleading.

As the world becomes increasingly inward-looking, China is unrelenting in its policy to open up the country. Within the context of its relations with Africa, opening up China means that there will be more Africans in China, more Chinese in Africa, and at any given time, more China-Africa interactions.

The extent to which these interactions will become fruitful relies on the degree to which Chinese and Africans can find solid ground on which interactions can flourish.

These interactions are complex as they also involve governments speaking to governments as well as Chinese investors speaking to African investors.

China and Africa have over…

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