The discussion of soft power in China can be dated back to 1992, the year Nye's Bound to lead was translated into Chinese and published in Mainland China. Chinese scholars urged that restrictions on civil society be lifted, since China's lack of voluntary associations and NGOs drastically hindered the development of citizen diplomacy that could serve as a critical agency in building up China's soft power. In recent years, China's strategic moves in building up soft power in Africa have been well documented, yet it still takes the engagement of Chinese society to eventually exercise that power. In the process of engaging the public, the media play a central role, which is what this article examines. The authors summarise various aspects of China's involvement in Africa since the turn of the century in relation to value sharing and co-identity building, then do a textual analysis of how Chinese media present Africa to their audiences.

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