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China’s Infrastructure Soft Power Diplomacy in Africa

China’s approach to soft power diplomacy in Africa differs markedly from that of other major powers, namely the United States, France and the UK. While those countries rely heavily on cultural products like movies and music to promote their cultures, China uses glamor shots of beautiful new infrastructure projects.

China’s ambassador to the DR Congo, Zhu Jing, on Tuesday touted the new 600 kph maglev train that was unveiled this week in Qingdao, musing about how a similar train could reduce travel times between the western capital of Kinshasa and the southeastern commercial hub of Lubumbashi to less than four hours.

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What is The China-Africa Project?


The CAP is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalist and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Africa discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.