Learning to admire. Education as a Chinese political soft power tool within the Belt and Road Initiative

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Learning to admire. Education as a Chinese political soft power tool within the Belt and Road Initiative

Type: Research master thesis
Title: Learning to admire. Education as a Chinese political soft power tool within the Belt and Road Initiative
Author: Lammertink, Jonas Pepijn
Issue Date: 2018-11-01
Keywords: PRC China soft power Kazakhstan Belt and Road Initiative Education
PRC China soft power Kazakhstan Belt and Road Initiative Education
Abstract: Studies have so far focused on China’s cultural tradition as the country’s soft power resource. However, to make the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative a success, Beijing is required to also have an attractive set of political values. This thesis investigates how this need for political soft power translates to the realm of international education, in which the Party-state is pushing for closer cooperation among the countries along the Belt and Road. To this end, official Chinese documents and media reports are studied, with a focus on education initiatives in Kazakhstan. By arguing that soft power behaviour is central to soft power building, this thesis has come to several conclusions. First, Beijing is actively deploying educational cooperation within the Belt and Road Initiative as a means to strengthen its soft power. Second, alongside China’s cultural tradition, political values are relied upon to increase China’s attractiveness, indicating that Beijing attempts to specifically build up its political soft power. Remarkably, these political ideals are primarily related to China’s domestic governance and less to Beijing’s global governance principles.
Supervisor: Pieke, Frank Nikolaas
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Asian Studies (Research master)
Specialisation: Research Master Asian Studies
ECTS Credits: 25
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/66817
 

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