Award Date

August 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Committee Member

Jonathan Strand

Second Committee Member

John Tuman

Third Committee Member

Michele Kuenzi

Fourth Committee Member

Lein Lein Chen

Number of Pages



Sino-Africa relations has become a topic of immense interest within the field of international relations. In particular, China’s use of “soft power” in order to support its peaceful rise in the international arena. Originally coined by American political scientist Joseph Nye (1990) the term “soft power” is the ability for a state to get what it wants without threat or coercion. The application of a Western theory by the PRC is worthy of further study and analysis. Recent scholarship within Chinese and Western academic circles have looked more closely at China’s soft power utility and how it promotes Nye’s pillars of soft power (culture, political values, and foreign policies). Specifically, where China’s soft power practices are in line with Nye’s (1990) original theory and where it deviates. This thesis will look at how China has built its soft power in Africa and how China utilizes that power. Furthermore, this thesis examines the question of whether China receives greater political support in the United Nations General Assembly from Africa governments with which it has close aid, investment, and trade relationships. Using descriptive statistics and correlation models, this study finds that although China’s relationship with Africa grows exponentially this does not necessarily produce more soft power efficacy for China.


International Relations

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit