There has been declining interest in French. “This kind of cooperation is a win-win because it’s not cooperation that can be imposed by rules and regulations … you retain your freedom. It’s not based on domination. What you have with Chinese cooperation is the possibility to remain yourself, keeping your own heritage, conducting your own policies,” Asian history professor Mamadou Fall says. He also sees the Chinese mingling more with locals. Some even try to learn a few words of the local language, Wolof, although he concedes it sounds like “a timid effort”.