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Chinese Soft Power in Africa: Production of Ambivalent Solidarities

February 1, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

In the series China Power Maria Repnikova, Global Communication, Georgia State University Coach House, Green College, UBC, and livestreamed Wednesday, February 1, 5-6:30 pm, followed by a reception Co-hosted by the Centre for Chinese Research This talk will explore the workings of Chinese soft power initiatives in Africa through the empirical lens of China-Ethiopia encounters. Specifically, the analysis will focus on how Chinese soft power is envisioned, deployed and received, including in the varied and contested affinities that Chinese initiatives produce on the ground. The talk will draw on ten months of fieldwork in Ethiopia and China, including the study of China-led elite trainings, Confucius Institutes and state media operations in Africa. Maria Repnikova will introduce the distinctive facets of Chinese soft power engagement in Africa, namely its pragmatic orientation, ambivalent reception, opportunistic engagement, and alienation and cynicism vis-à-vis China.