Can Western Media Overshadow the China-Africa Storytelling? Case Study of the BBC Documentary “The Chinese Are Coming”

Taling Tene Rodrigue


The dynamics of the changing global geopolitics have driven China and African Countries more and more close. Guided by their common interests, Chinese and African people through their firm leadership seem to see eyes to eyes on major international initiatives such as One Belt One Road, A.U Agenda 2063U.N Sustainable Development Goals 2030, etc. However, western media discourses on the China-Africa cooperation tend to reflect a different reality. In fact, Number of reports, articles and documentaries investigating the real motives of the Chinese in Africa have been made so far. Some of the world most influential western media such as BBC have taken the front line to display a western perspective of the China-Africa story. As result, some of the most critical episodes of western made Sino-African documentaries have come out. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) have made number of documentaries showing case of the Chinese operating in its former African colonies, covering Chinese made huge infrastructure projects, mining... In the 2011 documentary The Chinese are Coming”, the BBC journalist JUSTIN ROWLATT met the fearless Chinese entrepreneurs who have traveled thousands of miles to set up businesses in Africa. From Angola to Zambia and D.R. Congo, the documentary goes beyond former British colonies and cover up the former Portuguese and France colonies as well, showing case of a full-scale Chinese involvement on the continent regardless of the language or cultural barriers, political systems, human right standards, etc. The present article reviews the BBC documentary The Chinese are Coming (UK, 2011)”, and discusses from an African perspective the documentary’s standpoints vis-a-vis of the China-Africa cooperation.

Key words: Western Media; China-Africa Cooperation; BBC; Documentary;

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