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Engaging with Chinese friendship and cultural diplomacy

Project: Other


This project examined the discourse and practices associated with Chinese friendship organisations around the world and in the UK. In recent years the British Government has made it clear that it both welcomes and expects significant cultural exchange to take place between the UK and China, and that this will have tangible impacts not only in terms of economics but also in terms of knowledge-transfer and the strengthening of the knowledge based economy. In conjunction with this development, UK universities (Lancaster University included) have increasingly sought to foster and strengthen their links with China. This project explored the role that friendship groups have played in this development, and can be expected to play in the future. These groups are especially significant in the context of the UK’s and Higher Education’s overall aims, as a primary focus of these groups has been not only cultural exchange, but also knowledge-exchange. By investigating the discourse, practices and “impacts” of these groups, this project will deliver greater understanding of the role, effectiveness, and potential of these groups and this strategy. As such, the findings of the project will be of direct interest to a varied public audience, including the groups themselves, universities and government seeking to understand and develop such links.

The project was conducted in collaboration with Graham M. Smith at the University of Leeds, and Liang Xu at Lancaster University.
Effective start/end date2/10/1518/03/16

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