Author: Anthony Olorunnisola, Lian Ma.
The authors examined tripartite relationships between Africa, the West and China via historical, ideological and media frames, believing that the approach would yield a robust understanding of China's contemporary engagements in Africa. Historical reflections and a review of China's foreign policy ideology – driven by the notion of ‘soft power’ – provided useful contexts for answering and interpreting findings generated by the central question: What frames did newspapers in Nigeria, South Africa, China and the United States employ in their respective coverage of China's engagements in Africa? The findings revealed that African media engaged in adequate surveillance on the subject matter, China's media representative was promotional, while that of the US was adversarial. A combination of historical, ideological and media frames informed that Africa was yet to mount an audacious response to China's ‘grand strategy’. As it stands, an Africa–China linkage is poised to repeat the continent's dalliances with the West.