China and the Power of Attraction - A Critical Discourse Analysis of Soft-Power in Sino-African Diplomacy

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: Over the last decades, Sino-African diplomatic relations have undergone various changes, corresponding with China’s strategic objectives in and with the respective countries. Under the Xi administration, China’s approach to diplomacy has focussed on the quest of becoming a major global power while, or rather through, upholding its traditional values. This paper seeks to analyse how the current discourse on Sino-African diplomacy fits into the context of China’s soft power expansion, which has been pursued as part of its re-emergence. A Critical Discourse Analysis of Xi Jinping’s opening speech at the 2018 FOCAC summit was conducted in order to create a thorough understanding of the discourse that informs Sino-African relations and the broader social practices it is embedded in. It was found that Xi actively contributes to the creation of an attractive image of China. He draws on the three conventional soft power resources of an attractive culture, political values and foreign policy, as well as new narratives. This discourse was further amplified by Chinese media practices. The social practice analysis showed that soft power in Sino-African relations provides an effective tool for China to pursue its objectives as a rising global power.

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