Into Africa

China's Emerging Strategy

On September 16, 2022, NBR hosted an event in Washington, D.C., (and online) to discuss the key research findings and outcomes of the project “Into Africa: China’s Emerging Strategy.” The discussion featured NBR senior fellow Nadège Rolland and with a panel of experts who contributed to the project’s reports.

Previous research by NBR found that China appears to be seeking a “loose, partial, and malleable” hegemony over the Global South. In pursuit of those strategic ends, Chinese efforts appear to prominently focus on Africa—a critical theater of geostrategic competition with the U.S.-led West for global influence. Building off these research findings, in the fall of 2020, NBR launched a two-year project entitled Into Africa: China’s Emerging Strategy, offering the first comprehensive examination of how Africa fits into China’s global strategic vision, and how investments in critical infrastructure and increasing political influence aim to transform the continent according to China’s own principles and preferences.



Roy Kamphausen, The National Bureau of Asian Research



Dewardric McNeal, Longview Global


Nadège Rolland, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Isaac Kardon, U.S. Naval War College

Mareike Ohlberg, German Marshall Fund

Ovigwe Eguegu, Development Reimagined

11:30 a.m. AUDIENCE Q&A


About the Speakers

Ovigwe Eguegu is a Policy Analyst at Development Reimagined. He specializes in geopolitics with particular reference to Africa in a changing Global Order. His work includes research and providing strategic advice on geoeconomics and security in Africa. Ovigwe has provided expertise to both the public and private sectors, including Ergo, and Samuel Hall. Author of “The Digital Silk Road: Connecting Africa with New Norms of Digital Development,” in Expanding Engagement: Perspectives on the Africa-China Relationship.

Roy Kamphausen is President of NBR. Mr. Kamphausen joined NBR in 2004 and formerly served as Senior Vice President for Research, providing executive leadership to NBR’s policy research agenda and directing engagement with the administration, U.S. Congress, and foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. As a specialist on a range of U.S.-Asia issues, Mr. Kamphausen has led and contributed substantively to NBR’s research initiatives. His areas of expertise include China’s People’s Liberation Army, U.S.-China defense relations, East Asian security issues, innovation, and intellectual property protection. He has presented on these topics throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe to government and corporate decision-makers.

Isaac Kardon is an Assistant Professor at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in the Department of Strategic and Operational Research. He is a core member of the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI), where he researches and writes on maritime disputes, PRC overseas port development, the law of the sea, Indo-Pacific maritime security and commerce, and China-Pakistan relations. Author of “China’s Ports in Africa” in “(In)Roads and Outposts: Critical Infrastructure in China’s Africa Strategy.”

Mareike Ohlberg is a Senior Fellow in the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund, based at GMF’s Berlin Office. Before joining GMF, she worked as an Analyst at the Mercator Institute for China Studies, where she focused on China’s media and digital policies as well as the Chinese Communist Party’s influence campaigns in Europe. Prior to that, she was an An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Shih-Hsin University in Taipei. Author of “United Front Work and Political Influence Operations in Sub-Saharan Africa” in “Political Front Lines: China’s Pursuit of Influence in Africa.”

Nadège Rolland is Senior Fellow for Political and Security Affairs at NBR, and a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute. Her research focuses mainly on China’s domestic, foreign and defense policy, grand strategy, and the changes in global dynamics resulting from the rise of China. She is the author of the book China’s Eurasian Century? Political and Strategic Implications of the Belt and Road Initiative and the NBR Special Reports “China’s Vision for a New World Order” and “A New Great Game? Situating Africa in China’s Strategic Thinking.”

Alison Szalwinski is Vice President of Research at NBR. Ms. Szalwinski provides executive leadership to NBR’s policy research agenda and oversees research teams in Seattle and Washington, D.C. She is the author of numerous articles and reports and co-editor of the Strategic Asia series along with Ashley J. Tellis and Michael Wills. Prior to joining NBR, Szalwinski spent time at the U.S. Department of State and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.