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Chinese relations with Africa – Does propaganda play a role?

Chinese relations with Africa – Does propaganda play a role?






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    Chinese relations with Africa – Does propaganda play a role? Chinese relations with Africa – Does propaganda play a role? Document Transcript

    • Chinese relations with Africa – Does propaganda play a role? Kjell Kühne 20.7.08 Institute of Chinese Studies Ruprecht- Karls-Universität Heidelberg Seminar „Press & Propaganda“ SS 2007 Prof. Dr. Rudolf Wagner Abstract The past years have seen increasingly intense political and economic relations between China and African countries. In this paper these relations are analyzed from the aspect of propaganda. Propaganda is a tool in the official Chinese policy toolbox. In Africa, conditions to apply the tool exist, but whether it is done consistently remains doubtful. A number of issues are identified that could warrant the use of propaganda by the Chinese government in its African relations. Content: 1. Introduction 4. Chinese Propaganda in Africa? 2. Propaganda 4.1. Necessary elements 2.1. Definition 4.2. Issues 2.2. Propaganda in China 4.3. Propaganda as part of a 3. Sino-African Relations bigger strategy 3.1. Historical overview 4.4. The view from the outside 3.2. Political perspective 5. Conclusions and Outlook 3.3. Economic perspective
    • 1. Introduction China has become increasingly active on the African continent in recent years and this activity has drawn the attention of scholars and journalists, among others. While many accounts go along the lines of “China’s economy is hungry for resources and in Africa they can be found”, a much more differentiated picture can be formed by consulting the wealth of available recent publications.1 Most authors do not stop at describing the developments, but rather evaluate the actions of the Chinese government, and many of these evaluations are not termed in a neutral way. Rather, they leave no doubt about the author’s contempt for the Chinese government. In those accounts, dishonesty of the Chinese government is assumed.2 The Chinese government in turn defends their engagement in Africa, sometimes counter-attacking Western countries. At the coarsest level of analysis we can say that contradictory messages about the situation are being sent. In such a situation, the possibility that propaganda is involved is always latent. The current paper poses the question whether propaganda by the Chinese plays a role in Sino-African relations. It does play an important role in China and it may be assumed that it is one of the instruments brought to the task of gaining influence in Africa. By answering that question, we will be able to put the accusations of dishonesty into perspective. We will start by looking at what propaganda is and how it is used in China. After a brief overview of Sino-African relations we will turn to possible issues and means of propaganda. The conclusion is that there is Chinese propaganda in Africa, but it is dwarfed by actual deeds and should therefore not be overemphasized. 1 See: http://www.weltpolitik.net/Regionen/AsienPazifik/China/Dossier/akt_literatur.html and http://www.saiia.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=176&Itemid=219 for two online collections. 2 For a particularly worrying example, see: Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Baden- Württemberg 2008, Volksrepublik China – Eine neue Weltmacht? Politik & Unterricht 34, 1, 1. pp. 52-55. This publication is aimed at German high school students and contains a collection of extracts from different newspaper articles that use strong language, scolding China for its involvement in Africa.
    • 2. Propaganda Propaganda is a word that provokes different associations, most of them negative. There are two aspects, under which propaganda can possibly be considered “bad”. First, propaganda can be used to further immoral goals. If it serves the “wrong” goals, propaganda is seen as “bad”, when it serves the “right” goals, it is seen as “good”. This is the predominant view when one’s opponent in a conflict uses propaganda and oneself does so, too. In that case, there is a tendency to portray the own propaganda as closer to “truth” as opposed to the opponents propaganda which can rightfully be categorized as “lies”. 3 Second, propaganda itself can be considered immoral, because it usually involves a selection and shaping of information into a form that deviates from the principle of neutrality, in fact good propaganda will only leave the targeted audience only one possible interpretation and lead to their action in the desired sense. This can be seen as manipulation, which is of course a “bad” thing. But let us define propaganda first. 2.1. Definition The phenomenon of propaganda seems particularly difficult to grasp in theory, due to a wealth of different forms that this mode of communication can take in practice. 4 But of course, for the current purpose of answering the question whether Chinese propaganda in Africa exists, we need a standard against which to measure what we find. Therefore, the following definition will guide us in this paper: “Propaganda are designed attempts to influence the opinions, attitudes and behaviors of target groups through communication, guided by a political goal.” 3 E.g. Baumann, Gerhard 1941, Grundlagen und Praxis der internationalen Propaganda. Essen: Essener Verlagsanstalt. 4 Leonard Doob, an important figure in the propaganda literature, went so far as to express that “a clear-cut definition of propaganda” is “neither possible nor desirable.” - Doob, Leonard 1989, Propaganda. In: Barnouw, E. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Communications. Oxford, Vol. 3, 370-382. p. 375, cited after Bussemer 2005.
    • It is a translation of Maletzke’s definition from 1972.5 In addition, Thymian Bussemer provides a helpful collection of characteristics of propaganda, 6 some of which I would like to cite: - Propaganda is communication. - Propaganda is not physical, but symbolical. - Propaganda is a technique with defined goals and strategies. - Propaganda requires public opinion to have an influence on political decisions and the media to be the most important organizers of public discourse. - Propaganda uses truth as an instrument only where necessary. He further reminds us of the distinction between white propaganda, where the sender and the addressee are clear and black propaganda where the author of the message does not reveal himself. Bruno Lasker 7 distinguishes between propaganda in the fields of advertising, education and international relations. In the latter, which is the one of interest for the question at hand, he mentions two aspects: influencing the actions of foreign states a influencing public opinion about foreign policy in the home nd country. Both are relevant to the question, although the former constitutes the main focus. 2.2. Propaganda in China While different editions of the official Chinese Encyclopedia give differen t definitions of propaganda, 8 the common element is that propaganda is portrayed as a means of influencing people, a legitimate means when in the hands of the 5 Maletzke, Gerhard 1972, Propaganda. Eine begriffskritische Analyse. Publizistik 17, 2, 153-164. p. 157, cited after: Bussemer 2005. 6 Bussemer, Thymian 2005, Propaganda – Konzepte und Theorien. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, p. 29-32. 7 Lasker, Bruno 1937, Review: Propaganda, its psychology and technique. by Leonard W. Doob. Pacific Affairs 10, 1, 113-116. 8 See: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 1990, ? ? ? ? : ? ? ? p. 427- 429. ? ? : ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? , ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 1991, ? ? ? : ? ? ? p. 475-476. ? ? : ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? and ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 1991, ? ? ? : ? ? ? ? ? : ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
    • right actor. In line with that understanding of propaganda, in the PRC, the oversight of the press is the responsibility of the Department of Propaganda, directly under the politburo (see fig. 1).9 Figure 1. The institutional context of the Department of Propaganda in the PRC. Source: Zheng & Lye 2004. For the Western reader, who carries with him t e negative connotations of h propaganda, it is therefore important to take note of the fact that in China, propaganda is a part of everyday government business. 3. Sino-African Relations 3.1. Historical overview There have been a number of contacts between China and African states in past centuries and even millennia, especially during the Tang Dynasty. Most notably, in the 15 th century admiral Zheng He visited East Africa several times with his 9 For a more detailed description with a focus on recent reforms see: Zheng, Yongnian & Lye, Liang Fook 2004, China's Propaganda Reforms (I): Rapid Changes in Media Scene. EAI Background Brief No. 201.
    • fleet. But if we are looking for continuity, then little contacts extend into the past beyond the 1950s.10 In the PRC era, the first boost for Sino-African relations was the Bandung conference. In the 1960s Zhou Enlai visited Africa three times and a common Third-world cause was invoked. China got actively involved in the military field by supporting independence struggles and started to give aid in the form of agricultural and industrial cooperation, building roads and railways, sending medical staff and giving out loans to favorable conditions.11 The African consideration was a support of China at the United Nations, where the numerical importance of African countries played out for China and in 1971 they took permanent seat in the UN Security Council. 12 Following the reform policies in China and the subsequent economic rise, a new dynamism has caught Sino- African relations since the end of the 1990s. We will analyze the latest developments a bit more in detail from a political and an economic perspective. 3.2. Political perspective Diplomatic ties with most African countries have been getting ever closer over the last few years. Beijing places a lot of importance on it African Policy, to the degree that they released a White Paper describing their strategy on the continent. 13 Furthermore, it is visiting and promoting exchanges with many different African countries and these initiatives are very well received. Since 2000 Beijing holds regular summits called Forums on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), at the last one in November 2006 in Beijing the majority of all African 10 See: Gao, Jinyuan 1984, China and Africa: The Development of Relations over Many Centuries. African Affairs 83, 331, 241-250 for an overview. 11 Ibid. 12 For a detailed account of Sino-African relations in the past century see: Snow, Philip 1989, The star raft: China's encounter with Africa. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. For a compact overview (in German) of Chinese foreign policy from 1949 to 2004 with helpful indications on further literature see: Möller, Kay 2005, D Aussenpolitik der Volksrepublik China 1949-2004. ie Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden. 13 Chinese Government 2006, China's African Policy. retrieved from People's Daily Online on July 11th 2008 at http://english.people.com.cn/200601/12/eng20060112_234894.html.
    • heads of state was present. China has been wooing African leaders’ support with such projects as a new presidential residence in Namibia and Gabon and a foreign ministry in Rwanda.14 From little presents to billion-dollar loans, and artist exchanges to building contracts, Beijing uses a wide range of measures to improve relations with African countries. Development aid is one further facet of this policy. Generally speaking, China is considered an interesting and attractive model, whose development path can inspire African imitation, because it seems much closer than the kind of “development” known from Europe or the US . Confucius Institutes are Chinese Institutions that serve to spread the Chinese language and foster all kinds of exchanges. The first one was established in Korea in 2004, and since then, they have been rapidly growing in number in the whole world. 15 By the end of 2007, there were 12 Confucius Institutes in Africa. They are part of a bigger field of so-called cultural diplomacy. 3.3. Economic perspective Trade between China and Africa has been growing exponentially since the beginning of the millennium. By 2005 trade volume reached 40 billion US dollars. It is important to note, that all African countries with the exception of Somalia (which exports a lot of fish) and the oil-exporting countries have a trade deficit vis-à-vis China.16 Oil constitutes roughly 70% of China’s imports, while the rest are mainly primary resources, too (wood, cotton, metals, precious stones). China is mainly selling manufactured goods and in the case of Chinese textiles, which are highly competitive this has lead to the decline in local African industries. This, as well as the trade imbalance is recognized as a problem and the huge aid flow from China to Africa, that is due to be doubled from 2006 to 2009 can be seen as an attempt to alleviate the consequences of that imbalance. In the early to 14 Grill, B. 2006, Die neuen Kolonialherren. Die Zeit 38/2006. 15 Liu, Hong 2007, The Dynamics of China’s African Cultural Diplomacy. Presentation at the conference "China in Africa: Who Benefits?" Frankfurt, 14-15 December 2007. 16 OECD 2006, L’Afrique et la Chine. In: OECD, Atlas de l'Intégration Régionale en Afrique de l'Ouest. Série économie. CEDEAO-CSAO/OCDE.
    • mid 2000s, Chinese investors and state agencies spent billions of Euros on road- building in Kenya, a hydroelectric dam in Ghana and a mobile phone network in Ethiopia. China is Africa’s third most important trade partner, after France and the USA. 4. Chinese Propaganda in Africa? As we have seen, quite a lot is happening in terms of increasing ties between China and Africa. For our question, those developments provide only the background, against which propaganda operations could be performed. 4.1. Necessary elements Propaganda always consists of a few necessary elements: 1. An institution doing it. 2. A target group. 3. A goal towards which it is geared. 4. A means of communication. Let us start out by trying to identify where they could be found in China-Africa relations. Institutional setup: Even though I am ignorant of any specific Chinese institution that would officially deal with outward-bound propaganda, the first place to look are Chinese Embassies. In fact, their internet pages sometimes feature articles that represent a certain view on Sino-African relations.17 Target groups: The main target group are African elites, since they have a much more direct impact on their country’s foreign policy. The influence of public opinion on foreign policy, which is already doubted by scholars for Western 18 democracies, is arguably not strong enough in most African countries to 17 See e.g.: Chinese Embassy in South Africa (2006), Sitting on the time bomb: friendly advice or propaganda. November 11, 2006. A vailable at http://www.chinese- embassy.org.za/eng/zt/thirdeye/t282964.htm. 18 Hill, Christopher 1981, Public Opinion and British Foreign Policy. Millennium 10, 1, cited after Alden, Chris 2006, Through African Eyes: Representations of China on the African continent. Unpublished paper presented at SciPo/Fudan/LSE conference, October 2006.
    • warrant spending time and effort on trying to influence it through propaganda, the notable exception being South Africa19 The examples of “political warfare” that Donovan Chau has gathered 20 would suggest that elites are not the only target group and the wider public would be included in Chinese considerations as well. Goal: China’s perspective in Africa is extremely long-term as can be seen from their publicized strategy. 21 This allows a very general and flexible approach while furthering the general goal of improving relations with the countries on the continent and gaining social, economic and moral capital. Means: Already since 2001, Chinese CCTV has allowed the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation to use its programs geared to international audiences. This offer was complemented with the donation of technical equipment. 22 Later on, in 2006, Chinese Radio International (CRI) established a FM radio station in Nairobi (“Africa Express”) and is sending a program mainly in English, but also in Chinese and in Swahili.23 This is obviously an effort to establish a more direct communication link with the people in Kenya, outside the elites (for the elites, English would be enough). In order to establish whether propaganda is sent over that station, an analysis of its programs is needed. But taking into account the positive attitude of the Chinese government towards propaganda (see section 2.2), it is very likely that this channel is used for carrying messages that can be subsumed under that label. 19 The “battle of arguments” between Taipei and Beijing that was fought in the 1990s over the question which of the two Chinas should the post-Apartheid RSA stick with was probably something that can be called propagandistic – and here we have the characteristic of a public opinion that does have an impact on political decisions. See also: Geldenhuys, Deon 1997, The politics of South Africa's 'China switch'. Issues and Studies (Taipei) 33, 7, 93-131. 20 Chau, Donovan C. 2007, POLITICAL WARFARE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: U.S. CAPABILITIES AND CHINESE OPERATIONS IN ETHIOPIA, KENYA, NIGERIA, AND SOUTH AFRICA. U.S. Strategic Studies Institute. retrieved on July 11, 2008 from http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB766.pdf. 21 Chinese Government 2006, China's African Policy. retrieved from People's Daily Online on July 11th 2008 at http://english.people.com.cn/200601/12/eng20060112_234894.html. 22 Chau 2007. 23 Liu, Hong 2007, The Dynamics of China’s African Cultural Diplomacy. Presentation at the conference "China in Africa: Who Benefits?" Frankfurt, 14-15 December 2007.
    • 4.2. Issues I would like to make a distinction between two different modes of communication in propaganda: defensive and offensive. A defensive stance needs to be taken on all issues that are perceived by the target audience to be negative behavior of the actor. An offensive stance is taken when the situation that is referred to is largely perceived as positive (as far as the actor in question – in this case the Chinese government or the Chinese people – is concerned) or can be made to appear as such. The following issues are possibly relevant to Chinese propaganda on the African continent: Positive Issues: Prestigious development projects, such as roads, dams and infrastructure in general; trade links; Chinese aid; exchanges. All of these make for good occasions to promote the Chinese government’s views of their relations to African countries. These occasions are of course used and according pronouncements are made public over the press or over the internet. Non-interference in internal affairs and respect of sovereignty. These principles of Chinese involvement are a big asset for China’s attractiveness for some African leaders. Even though heavily criticized in the Western media, in China’s communications, these principles are stressed as good Chinese practice. But there seem to be exceptions to the rule: In Zimbabwe, the Chinese have been purported to provide president Mugabe with T-Shirts for his electoral campaign, as well as with equipment for jamming opposition radio stations 24, in Zambia, China threatened to sever diplomatic ties, if Michael Sata, the opposition leader who was openly anti-Chinese was to win the elections 25, and in Sudan, China has deployed several thousand soldiers to protect an oil pipeline.26 24 Eisenman, Joshua & Kurlantzick, Joshua 2006, China's Africa Strategy. Current History 105, 691, 219-224. 25 Moumouni, Guillaume 2006, DOMESTIC TRANFORMATIONS AND CHANGE IN SINO-AFRICAN RELATIONS. Paper Prepared for the Workshop “China-Africa Relations: Engaging the
    • These three examples, together with the observation that the sovereignty argument is most heavily relied upon in countries that would be considered quasi states 27 cast doubts about the sincerity of the argument. In Western media it is generally described with words that let it appear as hypocrisy (example please). Such a description comes with the supposition of dishonesty included. I would therefore not like to go so far. But the doubts are in order, and the question remains how long Beijing will continue to rely on the sovereignty argument. Negative Issues: Angola received a 2 billion dollar reconstruction credit from the Chinese Exim Bank, in turn an offshore oil contract was signed. 28 The Angolan government is regarded as one of the worst by most observers and China has been criticized over doing business with this government and especially awarding it a low-interest loan with no transparency conditionalities. Zimbabwe bought Chinese fighting jets for 120 million dollars, including pilot training.29 Actually in Zimbabwe China doesn’t need any propaganda. It has the support of Robert Mugabe and helps him to stay in office. This example is worrisome. What will happen with Chinese-Zimbabwean ties, if the Zimbabwean people finally come to overthrow him? The competitive Chinese textile industry cost Africans jobs. This must be explained and ideally compensated. China has acted along those lines. Arms trade: How could China sell weapons to both Eritrea and Ethiopia when those countries were at war with each other?30 Is there any political theory in China that allows for such behavior? International Discourse”, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, November 11-12, 2006. 26 Brookes, P. & Ji, H.S. 2006, China's Influence in Africa: Implications for the United States. The Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder #1916. 27 See Taylor, Ian 2006, China's oil diplomacy in Africa. International Affairs 82, 5, 937- 959. 28 Grill, B. 2006, Die neuen Kolonialherren. Die Zeit 38/2006. 29 Ibid. 30 See: Shinn, D.H. 2005, China’s Approach to East, North and the Horn of Africa. Testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission ‘China’s Global Influence: Objectives and Strategies’. July 21, 2005.
    • China has been helping the Sudanese regime in Khartoum in exchange for access to Sudanese oil. China has heavy investments in the country, mostly in the oil sector. 31 The defense of the regime against the international community that was largely eager to intervene and stop the genocide in Darfur is a big blot on the Chinese clean slate in Africa. China’s interest in resources on the continent is generally negatively portrayed and might need some defensive propaganda to be explained. Alden 2006 says that the China Strategy, published by the Chinese Government in 2006 itself is a part of the “battle” in public discourse over the Chinese involvement in Africa and – never before had a similar paper been published – served to counter negative impressions of China’s engagement. 32 4.3. Propaganda as part of a bigger strategy From a decidedly hostile starting point, Donovan Chau offers the concept of “political warfare” to understand what is happening on the continent as viewed from the US and China, today’s “two great powers”. 33 Even though little benefit can be expected from the fact of framing the engagement in terms of warfare from the outset, the basic assumption that propaganda is only one tool in the toolkit of foreign policy is certainly helpful. China has a whole set of different foreign policy measures (as seen above, see also Fig. 2) and applies them in a pragmatic way depending on local conditions.34 31 Shinn 2005. 32 Alden, Chris 2006, Through African Eyes: Representations of China on the African continent. Paper presented at SciPo/Fudan/LSE conference October 2006. 33 Chau, Donovan C. 2007, Political warfare in Sub-Saharan Africa: U.S. capabilities and Chinese operations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. U.S. Strategic Studies Institute. Retrieved on July 11, 2008 from http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB766.pdf. 34 The call to counter Chinese influence on the continent by developing the US’s own “political warfare capabilities” through engaging US NGOs and restructuring US AID into the leading political warfare institution comes about in a rather clumsy way. Quote: “The free wheelchair, given in the appropriate manner, rolls further than promises of aid and encouragement of democracy.” Chau 2007, p. 55.
    • Figure 2: Select PRC “Political Warfare Organizations” in four African countries. Source: Chau 2007, p. 53. Talk is a part of relations, but action speaks louder than words. In Sino-African contemporary (and historical) relations, there has been a lot of action, and if there is propaganda, it is likely to simply complement the facts that already speak for themselves. Chinese propaganda in Africa could work in the mode “do good and talk about it”. Chris Alden has anal yzed the perception of China in Africa. 35 His result: while different discourses can be identified, such as “China as development partner”, “China as competitor” and “China as hegemon”, the “discourse of fear” which dominates Western media, appears to be absent. Whether this considerable success for China is due, at least in part to skillful propaganda or mainly to hard facts on the African ground is hard to determine from the distance. 4.4. The view from the outside There is in fact a struggle of propaganda and counter-propaganda going on – but in the Western media. The discourse could be called the “Good Western Democracies against Evil Undemocratic China”. This discourse is mainly 35 Alden, Chris 2006, Through African Eyes: Representations of China on the African continent. Paper presented at SciPo/Fudan/LSE conference October 2006.
    • represented in European and US public media 36 , as well as in academic publications37. This is countered by a Chinese discourse of “China helps third - world brothers to develop without Western intromission”, likewise spread over public media 38 as well as scientific publications 39 . While looking at Beijing’s actions in Africa and their downsides, many but not all Western commentators fail to look at the history of European and US American involvement on the continent. That makes for a very weak position from which to criticize Beijing and suggest a change of its approach. Two possible conclusions could be drawn: firstly, comparing it with other countries’ shortcomings, we could excuse Beijing’s negative influence as “common practice”, secondly, we could stick to absolute moral standards and insist on changing Western as well as Chinese practice. The latter is clearly the more constructive alternative that should lead us forward in many regards. The possibility that China in some regards might be a better match for Africans than the West does not seem to be very popular among Western authors. But it must be earnestly considered if we want to get a balanced picture. Propaganda in China about Africa, meaning the other side of Sino-African relations is also a whole different story. As we have seen, propaganda is an integral part of Chinese communication policy, and the friendly relations with Africa are no exception. Furthermore, it is a declared goal of the Chinese government to encourage Chinese businesses to invest in Africa. Plus, it seems that propaganda to the Chinese people about Africa is needed, since the Anti - African student protests in Nanjing in the winter 1988/89 showed that the friendship and understanding celebrated at the diplomatic level might not naturally generalize to the wider population. 40 Propaganda can help. 36 E.g. Grill, B. 2006, Die neuen Kolonialherren. Die Zeit 38/2006. 37 E.g. Eisenman & Kurlantzick 2006. 38 E.g. Chinese Embassy in the USA 2006, China giving Africa better return than West: commentary. Available at http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/xw/t263764.htm. 39 E.g. He, Wenping 2007, The Balancing Act of China’s Africa Policy. China Security 3, 3, 23-40. 40 The contact hypothesis by Allport 1954, one of the well-known theories in social psychology says that inter-group stereotypes will be reduced through simple contact if certain preconditions
    • 5. Conclusions and Outlook I have tried to show whether the Chinese government does propaganda in Africa, without success. There are individual instances that could be considered propaganda, but the existence of a general propaganda strategy could not be established. However I hope to have shown where and how Chinese propaganda in Africa is likely to appear. The art of propaganda is to take a negative situation that warrants a defensive communication approach and turn it into an asset through discourse, switching to offensive mode. With purely defensive propaganda, from the very mode of communication, inferences can be drawn about the underlying situation. If the mode is defensive, then there must be something to be defensive about in the first place. In the above examples, the C hinese government sometimes stayed in defensive mode (as in the discussion about arms trade) and sometimes switched to offensive mode (as in the discussion about sovereignty). Through good propaganda, the perception of situations may change a lot, but the underlying “facts” that are independent of perception do not change. Therefore accomplishing the switch from defensive to offensive discourse, or “selling” a negative situation may be a good strategy in the short term, but can backfire in the long term, especially if the switch to a more positive view does not yield the expected positive results. This may well happen to Africans who welcome Chinese investment and un-conditionality today and see them as dignifying Africa, only to find out in the long term that the support for autocratic regimes is a curse. Of course, this depends upon Beijing’s further actions as well. If the Chinese Africa policy is modified and adapted as time progresses (“groping the rocks to cross the river”), then China may well find ways to lessen the negative impact of its policies. are met. An equal standing of the two groups is one of them. This was not the case for the African students, because they received preferential treatment.
    • The propaganda demanded by leading Chinese scholar He Wenping seems well in line with my conclusion: “? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? , ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? , “? ? ? ? ”? ? ? ? ? ? ? , ? “? ? ? ? ”? “? ? ? ? ”? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? , ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ”41 Translation: “In some internationally “hot” topics we should actively propagandize our policy position and our work and contribution, the old saying “Silence is golden” is indeed precious, but “Both doing and saying” and “Saying while doing” should also be flexibly applied. Otherwise the public opinion front may be conquered by someone else.” Propaganda, by definition lives in the realm of words only. It is a weak tool, when it stands alone. But when complemented with deeds, it comes to life. If we try to artificially separate action and words – and if only for the sake of analysis - it is difficult to establish their inter action and dynamics. Saying is believing, and acting on your beliefs includes the possibility of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The image that China is projecting in Africa is that of a peaceful partner that helps their African brothers develop their countries. If this prophecy could fulfill itsel f more and more, that would be a big step forward. 41 ? ? ? 2008, ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? - ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? . ? ? ? ? 2008 ? ? 3 ? 26-31.