The construction of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School in Kibaha, 40 km from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, was funded by the six ruling parties in the South African countries. Further support came from the ruling party in Beijing through its international liaison department, the bureaucracy tasked with promoting Chinese ideology abroad and cross-party diplomacy.
The school provides China with a platform to improve exchanges with leaders as a form of “party-to-party” diplomacy. Like many South African countries, Tanzania was heavily influenced by Maoism and the Communist Party during the 1960s and 1970s under Founding President Julius Nyerere.
Although Sino-African relations have almost completely shifted towards economic engagement, with China’s presence in Africa increasingly linked to mega-infrastructure projects, the echo of Chinese socialism is still felt in Tanzania, as well as in many other countries in the world.
Political parties in South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe are still trying to learn from China’s economic and government model. Observers say no African country has fully taken over the Chinese ‘model’, but most appreciate some of its elements, such as one-party state or state-led development.
In recent years, the party has stepped up its efforts to strengthen political ties with African governing parties, inviting hundreds of their officials on ‘study trips’ to China each year. The approach has remained consistent since the 1990s, when Beijing began aggressively promoting the “Chinese form of government” in Africa, until Covid-19 put an end to any kind of meeting that threatened to further spread the word. virus, although some encounters continued to take place virtually.
Song Tao, the then head of the international branch of the party’s central committee, gave a virtual speech to the participants in the Southern African Youth Cadre Workshop in early June, highlighting the long-term friendship and the concepts that the parties shared. .
“In the face of changes and pandemics not seen in a century, the CCP is ready to strengthen the exchange of experience in governance and administration of the state with the six parties,” said Song, who has since been replaced by Liu Jianchao, a veteran diplomat.
Jean-Pierre Cabestan, senior researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research and research professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, stated in a recent paper published by the National Bureau of Asian Research that “in sub-Saharan Africa, the CCP has focused on parties in power rather than on the opposition and on the countries that count for the Chinese economy ”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also party general secretary, responded to a letter from workshop participants hoping that “they will take an active part in the cause of China-Africa friendship, continue and convey the spirit of friendship and China-Africa cooperation,” according to South China Morning Post.
The Chinese Communist Party has established ties with 110 political parties in 51 out of 54 countries, as stated in a White Paper published by Beijing at the end of the 8th China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal.