China’s Public Diplomacy in Zimbabwe: perceptions, opportunities and challenges
AbstractContemporary Chinese engagements in Africa have been described in many terms by scholars and media practitioners. One of the threads in the China-Africa discourse is the role of public diplomacy and the desire by the Chinese government to engage African governments and citizens. Using insights from the concept of public diplomacy and new public diplomacy, this study seeks to understand China’s public di-plomacy in Zimbabwe by analysing news stories from the Chinese Embassy Website in order to discern the key actors and instruments used. Furthermore, the study uses the media reports from the private and public media as a barometer to form valuable insights on how the Chinese engagements and public diplomacy initiatives are perceived. Focus is particularly placed on convergences and departures between official Chinese public diplomacy narratives and the local media perceptions. The study finds that China has maintained the traditional state-centred public diplomacy model and that it has extensively focused on relationship building in its public diplomacy approaches in Zimbabwe which is in line with new public diplomacy. However, there are divergences between the themes prioritised by China and those prioritised by the local media which points to a possible communication gap. The study, therefore, proposes a proactive approach by China for effective public diplomacy in Zim-babwe.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
CC BY 4.0