In President Xi Jinping’s first public speech on African soil after taking office in Tanzania 25 March 2013, his reference to a popular Chinese soap opera drew large applause and laughter: “The foundation and lifeline of China-Africa relations lie with the people.” His reference instantly evoked mutual understanding and affinity. His reference was not coincidental. The strengthened cultural and emotional ties between China and Africa in recent years are the result of Chinese soft power. This brief outlines the carefully crafted Chinese soft power foreign policy implemented to win the hearts and minds of Africans.

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