Social Change Review (Dec 2021)

The Role of Confucius Institute in Shaping China’s National Image in Botswana: Case of CI Students

  • Keimetswe Lesego Alicia

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 19, no. 1
pp. 120 – 144


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The purpose of this article is to examine the role of Confucius Institute in Shaping China’s National Image in Botswana in the case of CI Students. The Confucius Institute at the University of Botswana (CIUB) is employed as a case study which is identified as the most active Chinese soft power instrument in Botswana. The paper uses a qualitative research method to help better understand the benefits and limitations of CIUB in creating China’s positive image in Botswana. Primary data is obtained from questionnaires whilst secondary data is derived from journal papers, thesis, and books. The study is framed by soft power theory to assist in learning how China utilises its soft power to improve its image in Botswana. The analysis revealed that CIUB has been fruitful in promoting Chinese language and culture in Botswana impacting positively on China’s national image. The findings of the study show that CIUB has the potential to clear some negative perceptions about China in Botswana. However, the limitation as indicated by the study is that CIUB does not have wide coverage of the population of Botswana as it targets mostly students. It is suggested that CIUB as a single tool cannot fully address all the concerns affecting China’s image.