China Forum Expert Tang Xiaoyang at Harvard Conference on Asia-Africa Ties


On October 12-13, Tang Xiaoyang, a China Forum expert and head of the department of international relations at Tsinghua University, attend a conference on “Asia-Africa Relations: Its Status and Possible Trajectories” hosted by the Harvard University Asia Center and Harvard University Center for African Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Academics, government officials and journalists explored the historical origins, conceptual frameworks, global contexts and cultural exchanges of Asia-Africa engagement.


In the panel discussion titled “Reconceptualizing Agency,” Professor Tang noted that Asia-Africa relations should be viewed in a way that breaks down the rigid focus on state-level institutions and sees the interactions between them and grassroots agencies. In the case of technology dissemination, for example, it requires stronger communication and understanding among all stakeholders – governments, businesses and individuals – while avoiding simplistic designation of policies or design of projects.


The panelists also attempted to break away from the traditional monolithic narratives by exploring the unique and intertwined trajectories of globalization in the context of Asia-Africa relations. Researchers explained the cross-continental impacts, common experiences and unique challenges faced by these regions.

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