Single title

Understanding the tools, narratives and impact of China’s “soft power” in North Macedonia

Research paper

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Association for strategy development, research, education and promotion of international values ESTIMA have published a joint research paper on “Understanding the tools, narratives and impact of China’s “soft power” in North Macedonia” by Ana Krstinovska.

In recent years, China’s soft power has been on the rise, climbing to the 4th position worldwide according to the Global Soft Power Index. In North Macedonia specifically, China’s reputation has improved by 13% between 2018 and 2021 and China has achieved the biggest return-on-invest in terms of positive media perception compared to the investments in this field.
What are the tools and tactics that China has been using to achieve these results? What narratives are being put forward to anchor China’s soft power? And most importantly, what are the objectives that China pursues and the impact that it has achieved so far?
The paper details the tools and tactics that China uses in North Macedonia for “news management”, “strategic messaging” and “relationship-building”. It uncovers a slightly positive correlation in the deployment of the strategies aimed to establish long-term partnerships and the positive opinion on China-related topics. Overall, China’s reputation tends to be positive, especially in terms of its economy, culture, scientific and technological development, and negative in terms of political system and state control over the media. However, amidst the perceived scarcity of information, especially credible, objective and analytical contents from the Macedonia media, it seems to be difficult for the general public to create an informed opinion.

The research findings of the publication were presented in the frame of a panel discussion which took place on the 01 December at the Panoramica Hotel in Skopje. 


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