1st Edition

China's Education Aid to Africa Fragmented Soft Power

By Wei Ye Copyright 2023
    228 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    China’s rise as an aid provider in Africa has caught global attention, with China’s activity being viewed as the projection of soft power of a neo-colonialist kind in an international relations context. This book, which focuses on China’s education aid—government scholarships, training, Confucius Institutes, dispatched teachers, etc., reveals a much more complicated picture. It outlines how the divide between the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Education hinders China’s soft power projection, how much of China’s aid is bound up with an education-for-economic-growth outlook, mirroring China’s own recent experiences of economic development, and how China’s aid—prioritized to reflect the commercial sector’s interests—is out of step with most international development aid, which is dominated by education agendas and the campaigns of international organizations and traditional donors; this leaves China easily exposed to the charge of neo-colonialism. This situation also reveals insufficient knowledge production of China and in South-South Cooperation. Substantial production of Southern knowledge should recognize the international development cooperation architecture as an open system by which both traditional donors and Southern countries transform.


    Chapter 1: China’s Education Aid to Africa and the Paradoxes

    Chapter 2: Three Faces: Education Aid in Disciplinary Knowledge

    Chapter 3: Restructuring China’s Education Aid to Africa: A Critical Realist Approach to Transcend Disciplinarity

    Chapter 4: Dualism and Fragmentation: Historical Origin, Evolution, and Distinctiveness

    Chapter 5: Fragmentation in Policy Formulation: Domestic Factors and Divides

    Chapter 6: China and the International Development Cooperation Architecture: The (Im)possibility of Southern Knowledge Production

    Chapter 7: Fragmented Soft Power in the Myth of Global China


    Wei YE is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Institute for International Affairs, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China