The Role of Public Sentiment and Social Media in the Evolving China–Africa Relationship

Image: Pixabay, LoboStudioHamburg
Image: Pixabay, LoboStudioHamburg

The demands of public diplomacy have shifted with the development of social media technologies.

Increasingly, governments are required to gauge and respond to public sentiment over and above the one-way communication of broadcast media. The social media and accompanying elevated public role have complicated the decision-making process in China to the extent of potentially influencing its outward engagements. On the receiving end of China’s diplomacy is Africa, which is undergoing its own important technological changes. South Africa’s domestic circumstances, however, demonstrate that larger factors can override online sentiment. In two such important regions in the world, it is important to consider whether these domestic changes are likely to strengthen or undermine future China–Africa future relations.

28 Jan 2013

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Research by
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 134, January 2013
Asia Pacific
China, South Africa
SAIIA Programme
Foreign Policy
Soft Power & Public Diplomacy
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