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A Research on New China’s Cultural Diplomacy in Africa

Author: ZhongZuoZuo
Tutor: WangXueJun
School: Zhejiang Normal University
Course: World History
Keywords: Africa Cultural diplomacy China-Africa Cooperation Forum Sino-Africa relations Cultural exchange
CLC: D822
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 41
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With the fast development of Sino-African relations, China’s cultural diplomacy in Africa has naturally become the government’s diplomatic "new darling". With China-Africa Cooperation Forum carrying out the collective dialogue and consultation mechanisms between China and Africa, China totally changes the scattered messy situation of China-Africa cultural diplomacy and creatively launches a series of large-scale cultural exchange programs for the entire African continent. China’s cultural diplomacy in Africa is entering a new period of development and innovation.However, the academic discussion on "China-Africa cultural exchanges" is too broad and general. It not only ignores the theory and practice of China’s cultural diplomacy in the 20th century, but also lacks in-depth study. The present theoretical study fails to match the flourishing China-Africa relation and lags far behind the practical development of China’s cultural diplomacy in Africa. Therefore, the author uses text analysis, statistics, historical research, comparative research, case studies and other methods to sort out the theories and practices of China’s cultural diplomacy in Africa since the foundation of New China and summarizes the characteristics, motivation and influence of each stage.The author believes that it can be divided into four stages:The first stage of infancy is from 1955 to 1966, when China’s cultural diplomacy in Africa was in a dominant position, and China pursued the "culture first" diplomatic idea and explored some diplomatic strategies, such as access speech arts and press interviews.The second stage of stagnation and recovery is from 1967 to 1977. From Lin Biao Group’s "world revolution" to Zhou Enlai’s "use culture to bury the hatchet", China uses "sports diplomacy" to reverse the situation of complete interruption of China-Africa cultural exchanges at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in China.The third development stage is from the Reform and Opening up to the late 1990s, when China’s African policy focus shifted to economic and trade cooperation, with the cultural diplomacy playing a supporting role. The content of its practice is to expand and improve the traditional diplomacy.The fourth stage of boom is from 2000 to now, when the Chinese government is increasingly emphasizing the strong role of cultural soft power. It can be seen from China’s great attention and innovation of cultural diplomacy in Africa. With the help of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, China has launched the "Human Resources Development Fund", "Persons of African cultural visit plans", "China-Africa joint research project", "cultural focus activities ","China-Africa Youth Festival", and other major exchange programs in Africa. China’s cultural diplomacy has been in a comprehensive, in-depth, standardized and systematic situation. The African Confucius Institute is a flag of China’s cultural diplomacy in Africa in the 21st century. As a fixed and long-term overseas base to propagate Chinese culture, it can continue to ascend China’s influence in Africa. This article makes a case study on it.The unique value of China’s cultural diplomacy in Africa is to constantly increase mutual understanding and consolidate the China-Africa friendship by communicating through the mind. In the context of globalization, its significance lies in achieving national strategic objectives, optimizing the soft power of China in Africa, enhancing China’s cultural industry as well as providing the development experience for African countries. Its problem is the lack of introduction and spread of African culture, too few non-governmental exchanges, the low rate of mass media utilization and insufficient funds. On this basis, the author puts forward some countermeasures and suggestions.

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