Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Zachary Guthrie

Second Advisor

Joshua Howard

Third Advisor

Gang Guo

Relational Format



As soon as it gained independence from the United Kingdom in December 1961, Tanganyika, which would later become the United Republic of Tanzania, established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. The two countries have continued to promote friendly relations and an economic and political partnership, particularly through the Belt and Road Initiative and the Confucius Institute. Given international concerns over China’s interest in the African continent, this thesis seeks to evaluate the perceptions of Chinese influence in Tanzania on both a national and local level.

I used a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods to analyze China’s image in Tanzania. A content analysis of 2020 news articles that include “China” in the headline revealed that the representation of China in Tanzania’s new media is overwhelmingly positive, even publishing direct speeches of Chinese government officials. A multivariate analysis of statistical and quantitative data from Pew Research Center similarly confirmed the public’s favorable opinion of China. In addition, I also conducted interviews with Tanzanian students and Chinese teachers at the Confucius Institute in Dar es Salaam to supplement the national-level data with personal micro-perspectives. These interviews filled in the gaps of the national-level reporting on China, highlighting many misunderstandings and cultural miscommunications that are ignored in the news articles. I found that the majority of Tanzanians have a positive perception of China, regarding the country as a model for economic development, but many Tanzanians have less favorable opinions of the Chinese people themselves because of various cultural barriers and misunderstandings.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Monday, April 29, 2024