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The symbolism of Chinese power : understanding the constructs of china in Africa and China’s normative foreign policy.

Harper, Tom (2019) The symbolism of Chinese power : understanding the constructs of china in Africa and China’s normative foreign policy. Post-Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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The case of China’s engagement with the African states has been one of the key case studies of Chinese foreign policy in the Post-Cold War era. This has resulted in the creation of a vast body of literature studying these policies, with the American and Chinese depictions of China’s African policies being unified into two, coherent narratives by several recurring constructs. While examples of Chinese engagement with the African states have already been subject to extensive study, the knowledge on China in Africa has not been subjected to the same degree of examination, let alone the process of how it is created nor what it symbolises. The purpose of this paper is to explore the constructs of China’s African policies from the established body of literature and to apply these concepts to the official discourses on China’s engagement with Sudan and Zimbabwe. This served to explore how the competing American and Chinese constructs were symbolic of the competition for the construction of China’s international identity as well as being reflective of two normative systems that seek to spread themselves to a wider context. By doing so, these constructs served to illustrate the nature and methodology of Chinese foreign policy, which has utilised the shared experience of European imperialism and national liberation to successfully cement China’s ties with the African states. This has also seen soft power enjoy an equal, if not greater, status to hard power in Chinese policy, which has been largely missing from the populist images of China’s rise which have focused chiefly on the augmentation of China’s military assets. Such a perspective has resulted in a skewed representation of Chinese strategies, which has led to the factors behind the success of Chinese foreign policy being ignored.

Item Type: Thesis (Post-Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Harper, Tom
Date : 31 July 2019
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00852041
Contributors :
Depositing User : Tom Harper
Date Deposited : 02 Aug 2019 07:35
Last Modified : 02 Aug 2019 07:36

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