What is it about?

China features significantly in the Covid-19 narrative for good and bad reasons. The purpose of this paper is to test, empirically, the assumption that Covid-19 would negatively influence perceptions of China in Ghana, due to its perceived relationship with the pandemic. We characterise Chinese manufactured products as soft power resources and analyse the role they play in addressing the personal needs and interests of Ghanaians and how they affect positive and negative perceptions of China amid the Covid-19 pandemic. We used a mixed research method and collected data from a sample size of 1,020 for analysis. We found that Ghanaians are rational actors who maximise the perceived gains of their actions in pursuit of their objectives. Thus, the self-interest and personal satisfaction Ghanaians gain through China’s manufactured products outweigh the negative representation of China in the Covid-19 narrative, shaping a positive attitude in Ghana towards China. We situate the argument within rational choice theory.

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Why is it important?

It provides a major contribution to China's image building in Africa


A good addition to the soft power literature. It's combination with rationality adds a new dimension to the discussion

Thomas Ameyaw-Brobbey

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This page is a summary of: A Soft Power Resource, Rationality and the Impact of Covid-19 on China’s Influence on Africa, Africa Review, September 2022, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/09744061-tat00003.
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