PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (11): 1521-1532.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.11.008

• Special Column: South China Sea and "the Belt and Road Initiative" • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Chinese geography "goes out": Looking at China-Africa cooperation from the perspective of human geography

Ning AN1(), Bangxing LIANG2, Hong ZHU1,*()   

  1. 1. Centre for Human Geography and Urban Development, School of Geographical Sciences, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    2. School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2018-04-11 Revised:2018-11-14 Online:2018-11-28 Published:2018-11-28
  • Contact: Hong ZHU;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41630635, No.41701149, No.41871127


China-Africa cooperation is becoming an unavoidable international political and economic event, creating a large number of research topics. This study adopted the method of Endnote analysis to examine the relevant literature from four well-known international and Chinese academic publication databases. Based on a fuzzy keyword search with the key words of China-Africa cooperation, Sino-Africa cooperation, China-Africa collaboration, and Sino-Africa collaboration in Web of Science, Taylor & Francis, and Elsevier and zhongfei hezuo in CNKI, this study collected 241 and 382 publications from the international and Chinese databases, respectively. The two main conclusions are as follows: (1) Both international and Chinese scholars have paid much attention to the political and economic aspects of China-Africa cooperation, situating this theme into the framework of political science and economy for discussion, while the research perspective from other subjects seem to have been underexamined; (2) Although a small number of scholars have explored China-Africa cooperation from the perspective of geography and spatial analysis, such kind of studies seem to have seldom departed from the analytical framework of political science and economics. Human geography studies are also small in number and unsystematic. In this regard, this article proposes potential future research directions to discuss this topic, in particular from the lens of political geography, tourism geography, and social and cultural geography, which may gradually become hotspot topics in the near future. This article advocates for increased human geographer participation in the research of China-Africa cooperation thereby contributing to the study and practice of this cooperation. It also encourages human geographers in China to respond to China's growing intellectual responsibility as a great power "going out."

Key words: China-Africa cooperation, human geography, reference analysis, going out