Beijing has previously said its cooperation with African nations covers farm, health and infrastructure-related projects. In July, China said more than half its foreign aid, of more than $14 billion between 2010 and 2012, went to Africa. China says there are no strings attached to its aid, but some of its projects have drawn attention for their support of governments with poor human rights records and lack of transparency, such as Zimbabwe, Sudan and Angola.
It's a country where Shah Rukh Khan remains hugely popular. If you walk around the streets of Bali, inevitably someone will ask you if you have seen Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. The soft power of Bollywood is tangible in nooks and crannies of this vast country.
As one of the first countries to recognize the National Transitional Council, Qatar supplied the rebels with arms, uniforms, and $400 million in aid, while also helping the rebels sell their oil. Not least, Qatar provided invaluable moral support with its exhaustive coverage of the rebels on the Al Jazeera TV network, the emir’s powerful public diplomacy wing.
Consumer brands can be seen as an extension of “soft power” which political scientist Joseph Nye broadly defined as a nation’s ability to attract and persuade rather than coerce. In this respect, India certainly has an advantage over China which does not have strong private sector brands in the consumer space, except perhaps in electronics.
India may have certain soft-power advantages, including its Bollywood film industry as well as widespread English fluency and a history of living under British colonial rule that it shares with many African countries. There is also a significant Indian diaspora in Africa.
For some, the rapid growth of China’s presence in Africa has been disquieting. Beijing is not always helpful where it has political influence. It occasionally colludes with corrupt and abusive governments, and its thirst for natural resources has raised the specter of a second “scramble for Africa.”
What is disaster pornography? Africans define it as the Western media’s habit of blacking out Africa’s stock markets, high rises, internet cafes, cell phones, heart surgeries, soaring literacy and increasing democratization, while gleefully parading her genocides, armed conflicts, child soldiers, foreign debts, hunger, disease, and backwardness.
Joshua Kurlantzick, in "Can Public Diplomacy Counter Resource Nationalism?," paints a rather alarming geo-strategic picture for the United States. The recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization showcased the warming relations between oil-rich Iran and Russia with the budding super-consumer, China.