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China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): Fostering People-to-People Bonds through Media Presence and Chinese Diasporic Awareness

Gilbert Jacob S. Que

Abstract

China’s current large-scale soft power initiative, the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), seeks to re-open the ancient Silk Road, which aims to improve diplomatic, cultural, and economic relations between China and countries across Eurasia and Africa. While the concept of this initiative appears appealing, factors such as trust levels toward China, opinions on China’s national image, and disputes between the Philippines and China have prevented these Chinese-Filipino young professionals from fully accepting the BRI. Focusing on the people-to-people bonds of this initiative, this study explores the opinions of third-generation Chinese-Filipino young professionals toward China and the BRI using Muzafer Sherif’s Social Judgment Theory. It also suggests the usage of mass media to broadcast positive messages to a wider audience within a shorter amount of time to improve the image of China and increase awareness on the BRI.

Keywords

Belt and Road Initiative; China; Filipino-Chinese; mass media; Philippines; soft diplomacy; Tsinoy

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