S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) Theses (Master's Degree_국제학과)
The Ambiguity of the Soft Power Aspect in Chinese Foreign Aid: A Study of China's Aid toward Africa : 중국 원조에서의 '소프트파워' 전략의 모호성: 중국의 대 아프리카 원조
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- 국제대학원 국제학과
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 국제대학원
- soft power ; China's aid ; foreign aid ; Africa ; hard power ; ODA
- 학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 국제대학원 국제학과, 2017. 8. 김태균.
- The African region is a geopolitically complex area when it comes to the competition of major donor countries. As 'soft power' strategy gains importance these days, countries try to utilize foreign aid as a part of their soft power strategy, to enhance their image and strengthen a solid platform for mutual cooperation. China is one of the major countries increasing its presence in Africa and engaging in deeper cooperation
with African countries under the purpose of enhancing its soft power. However, the concept of soft power is relatively superficial, ambiguous, and often overused and misused by the government and politicians as a political rhetoric. A closer look at China's foreign aid leads us to question whether it was actually 'soft power' that it wanted to target and to what extent it can be classified as soft power, as opposed to hard power.
In this paper, I argue that China is utilizing a mixture of hard and soft power of aid, unlike traditional donors who try to conceal or lessen hard power elements of aid as much as possible. This would lead to an uncertain and incomplete gain for China in terms of gaining soft power due to soft power's inherent ambiguity and thus lead to China's exertion of hard power even with its intention to increase soft power. This paper will further look at the benefits and challenges for China's aid from adopting a hybrid strategy towards aid and see how the recipients perceive such an ambiguous approach.
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