Public diplomacy and the reemergence of China
Abstract: The reemergence of China as a global Great Power raises multiple questions regarding how China will exert its influence on the international arena. Arguably the most important feature of China’s current foreign policy, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) can be considered a manifestation of China’s contemporary ascendancy. The establishment of the BRI hinges on an extensive diplomatic effort by China, of which public diplomacy is a central component. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how China’s soft power goals and soft power ambitions are reflected in Chinese public diplomacy relating to the BRI. The political theories of realism and constructivism are used in conjunction with previous research to operationalize China’s soft power goals and strategies into distinct frames. This paper then conducts an in-depth descriptive case study using qualitative content analysis, outlining explicit and implicit reflections of these frames in the primary material. The study concludes that China’s soft power goals and soft power strategies feature extensively in the primary material.
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