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China Evolves Its Language That Frames Its Engagement in Africa

The China Media Project (CMP), an independent research organization affiliated with the Journalism & Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong, published an interesting analysis today on how Chinese propaganda is evolving the language (in Chinese) used to frame China’s engagement on the continent following Foreign Minister’s Wang Yi’s recent tour.

The following is a transcript of CMP’s four-part Twitter thread:

“The foreign policy buzzword today, as the [People’s Daily newspaper] reports on Wang Yi meeting with officials from Nigeria, Congo, Botswana, Tanzania, and Seychelles: “China-Africa Community of Common Destiny” (中非命运共同体).

But the full phrase here, appearing also in a commentary below it, seems to be “the building of an even closer China-Africa Community of Common Destiny” (构建更加紧密的中非命运共同体). 

This phrase actually dates back to the 2017 as preparations were being made for the 2018 “Beijing Declaration-Toward an Even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future,” which included the phrase “Shared future” is China’s preferred official translation of 命运共同体, avoiding the notion of “destiny” (命运) and its suggestion of inevitability.

However, the sense of “destiny” is a better reflection of the intent in the original.”

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