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China's Public Diplomacy and Confucius Institute

Abstract : Although officially introduced in Communist Party of China (CPC) doctrine in 2012, the concept of public diplomacy (PD) in China has taken various forms: people’s diplomacy (renmin waijiao), civil diplomacy (minjian waijiao), and external propaganda (duiwai xuanchuan). In these quasi-PD activities, Beijing has regarded the principle of relationship management as an important means to deal with uncertainty in international communication. Relationship management has largely been a strategic response to international criticism since the Mao era. When China and India codified the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence for trade and intercourse between Tibet and India in 1954, Prime Minister Zhou Enlai implicitly conceptualised the ideas of “doing business” and “making friends.” International criticism and negative feedback about neo-colonialist trends in Africa from the beginning of the 21st century have prompted China to use a public-centric approach to African PD in order to enhance its international legitimacy while managing uncertainty. The Confucius Institute (CI) is currently a flagship brand of China’s statecraft in Africa through which Beijing advances its reputation among local publics. The Chinese government uses relationship management, relationship synergies, and interpersonal communication, within the framework of CI, to display China’s charm and to legitimise its geopolitical presence and its industrial and commercial implantations in Africa.
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Contributor : Zhao Alexandre Huang <>
Submitted on : Friday, July 31, 2020 - 3:44:03 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 11:04:49 AM


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Zhao Alexandre Huang. China's Public Diplomacy and Confucius Institute. Public Diplomacy and the Politics of Uncertainty, 2021, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-54552-9_8⟩. ⟨hal-02910002⟩



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