Vol. 10 No. 19 (2020): Intercepting and Modeling Global Change?
Monographic Section

China soft power and cultural diplomacy. The educational engagement in Africa

Published 2020-10-15


  • China,
  • soft power,
  • cultural diplomacy,
  • education,
  • human resources

How to Cite

Caruso, D. (2020). China soft power and cultural diplomacy. The educational engagement in Africa. Cambio. Rivista Sulle Trasformazioni Sociali, 10(19), 47–58. https://doi.org/10.13128/cambio-8510



The concept of soft power has recently become more integrated in China’s diplomatic strategy and foreign policy: this work discusses the “Soft Power with Chinese characteristics” and is polarized on the application in African countries. The realm of higher education represents the focus of China’s most systematically planned soft power policy and cultural diplomacy; it is most evident in Africa where Beijing has committed to contributing to the development of human resources. The paper aims to examine the China’s use of the soft power and cultural diplomacy and, specifically, the   investment in education and human resource development in Africa. It   discusses the main aspects of China’s education aid ranging from: (1) Confucius Institutes (C.I.), which are providing language and culture-related training in host countries; (2) longer term scholarships and short-term training (3) school construction and stand-alone education projects and, more in general, the  development of capacity building for the structural transformation C.I. appears similar to other cultural institutes then, in order to better understand the importance of this soft power instrument, the inter-related dimensions of a network communication approach have been examined. China claims partnership is at the heart of its higher education cooperation with Africa and, if this seems most obvious in the Confucius Institute, several of other modalities rely upon a Chinese partner to deliver staffing, local or overseas training, and/or administration. From this point of view, based on bilateral consultations and dialogs on equal footing, the China-Africa educational exchange and cooperation seems to satisfy the demands of Africa in educational development.



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