Author: Tingting Yuan.
Yuan, Tingting. August 2014. "Diploma serves diplomacy: China’s ‘donor logic’ in educational aid." China 12 (2): 87-109.
China’s engagement in Africa is an increasing popular topic in 21st century. However there are not much attention have been paid in the field of education and little evidence can be seen about what actually happens on the ground. This paper aims to explore China’s educational aid in Africa, from both textual and fieldwork resources. It will focus on three parts: firstly, the existing recognitions on China’s distinctions in foreign aid and China’s donor logic based on ‘win-win’ strategies; secondly, an argument that China's donor logic in educational aid might be informed by producing soft power through the ‘public diplomacy’; thirdly, a discussion of people’s perception collected in Tanzania, including voices from official people and returning African students. The paper will take China’s main educational approach, the Government Scholarship Scheme as an example, and look at how this educational practice has been processed in a ‘diplomatic’ way. It is concluded that China’s educational aid and its features in practice, based upon diplomatic policies and China’s distinctive donor logic of foreign aid, is serving bilateral relations rather than orthodox aid relations. If quality transformation and communication can be maintained in the Chinese universities, education would contribute to a lasting and cooperative relationship between China and Africa. It may add more complexities to ‘soft power’ within broader conceptions under the contemporary global political economy.