Journal of Social and Political


ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)

Published: 30 March 2020

Soft Power Diplomacy on the African Continent: The Rise of China

Frederick Cloke

Wuhan University, China

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Pages: 268-276

Keywords: African Union, China, Soft Power, Development, Multi-lateral, Realism


China’s soft power push is accelerating at a time traditional powers such as the European Union and the United States are perceived to be scaling back their global commitments on the African continent. This has given more vigour and focus on what continues to be a deliberate, long term, and sustained Grand Strategy for China and it’s ambition. China’s leaders have become more adept and attentive to pursuing strategic goals without relying on traditional tools of foreign relations. Moreover, with the growth of China’s global influence, Beijing is less averse to boldly promoting China’s values and models than it had been in the past. Many within the Chinese political establishment welcome this as a strategic opportunity to offer alternatives to Western norms on the African continent and beyond. Likewise, many African leaders, states, regional organizations as well as the continental organization on the African continent welcome this alternative option. With China’s Grand Strategy now well-articulated, its soft power initiatives can be expected to expand in tandem with its political and economic activities. Nowhere is this more evident than on the continent of Africa. With a diverse and nearly endless potential of untapped natural resources, nations worldwide look to strengthen their ties with African nations. This article analyzes aspects of current Sino-African relations and seeks to explore the potential motives and activities of China in Africa and the potential corollaries concerning the global economy. With a focus that highlights the approach China has taken in Africa this article goes further to analyze China’s methodology and the potential influence on future and present geopolitical relations, it has become clear that the continent of Africa holds a highly valuable piece of the global puzzle. This article aims to stimulate and implore further study regarding the implication of soft power politics and it’s long-term effects on numerous developing nations situated in Africa. Furthermore, this article provides insight into China’s rising global influence and various policies and practices that have led to diverse views throughout the continent. Lastly, this article takes a look at China and the strengthening of its position on the continent and how China potentially possesses the ability to outperform many of its foreign rivals on the continent.


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