PRC’S Digital Diplomacy in Social Network Accounts of Chinese Embassies in Africa

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Kirill S. Kravtsov

student of BA program Asian Studies, HSE University, St. Petersburg, Russia

Elena D. Soboleva

PhD in Political Science, Associate Professor at the Chair of Chinese, South and Southeast Asian Studies, HSE University, St. Petersburg, Russia


Section: New Media

Since Xi Jinping became President, China has been trying to improve informational and ideological support of its foreign policy by different means, including digital diplomacy. Focusing on China's digital diplomacy in Africa, the authors of this article analyze which ideas and in what way Chinese diplomatic missions seek to convey to foreign users of social media. The empirical part of the study includes a frame analysis of 295 posts published in the social media accounts of Chinese embassies in Kenya, South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Sudan between 2019 and 2021. In these accounts, Chinese diplomats describe in detail the successes of the PRC and the merits of its development model, strive to popularize traditional Chinese culture, a key element of China's soft power strategy, and aspire to refute accusations and criticisms of China’s foreign and domestic policies voiced by Western countries. Despite the absence of a unified strategy for digital diplomacy development in the PRC, the authors detected the same set of frames in all the accounts under study. This can be explained by the fact that the content of communication to a large extent copies the discourse of Chinese official media and is not largely tailored to social media.

Keywords: digital diplomacy, global communications, social media, China-Africa relations, frame analysis
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.4.2023.320


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To cite this article: Kravtsov K.S., Soboleva E.D. (2023) Akkaunty kitayskikh posol'stv v sotsial'nykh setyakh kak instrument tsifrovoy diplomatii KNR v Afrike [PRC’S Digital Diplomacy in Social Network Accounts of Chinese Embassies in Africa]. Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seriya 10. Zhurnalistika 4: 3–22. DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.4.2023.320