OMUROVA J.O., LYSENKO Yu.A., KYLYCHEV A.M. Confucius Institutes as a Tool of “Soft Power” in China’s Cultural Diplomacy in Kyrgyzstan

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2023.2.19

Jamyikat O. Omurova

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Head of the Regional and Kyrgyz Studies Department,

Kyrgyz National University named after Jusup Balasagyn,

Frunze St, 547, 720033 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7104-3708

Yulia A. Lysenko

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Head of the Department of Oriental Studies,

Altai State University,

Prosp. Lenina, Bld. 61, 656023 Barnaul, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1088-3578

Akylbek M. Kylychev

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor,

Regional and Kyrgyz Studies Department, Kyrgyz National University named after Jusup Balasagyn,

Frunze St, 547, 720033 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6219-9209


Abstract. Introduction. This article discusses the cultural diplomacy of China on the example of the activities of the Confucius Institutes as tools of “soft power” in the field of spreading the Chinese language and culture in Kyrgyzstan. The prerequisites for the formation of linguistic and cultural diplomacy as a foreign policy instrument of the PRC in the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as the main forms and activities of the Confucius institutes for the dissemination and support of the Chinese language and culture in Kyrgyzstan are analyzed.

Methods and Materials. In the course of the study, aspects of the formation and development of the language policy program of the PRC in Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian countries were substantiated by the method of analysis. The work used a systematic approach to form a holistic view of the activities of the Confucius institutes and the policy of promoting the Chinese language and culture in Kyrgyzstan as a tool of “soft power.” For the analysis of Chinese “soft power”, the key materials were the works of Russian, Chinese and foreign scientists.

Analysis. As a result of the problem analysis, the legal and institutional frameworks for the activities of the Confucius Institutes, as well as the cultural diplomacy of the PRC to popularize the Chinese language and culture in Kyrgyzstan, were studied. The main directions and results of the “soft power” policy in the field of popularization of the Chinese language and culture in the Kyrgyz Republic and their role in shaping a positive image of China in Kyrgyzstan were also identified.

Results. The study showed that in recent years, in the countries of Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan, thanks to the active work of the Confucius Institutes and the cultural and diplomatic policy of the PRC, it was possible to spread learning of the Chinese language and culture. Today, for most of the youth of the countries of Central Asia and Kyrgyzstan, learning the Chinese language seems promising. This is explained by the fact that factors such as close geographical location, open borders and a developed transport system, etc. help to quickly master the Chinese language. It should also be taken into account that, through the system of Confucian institutes, the Chinese side seeks to train personnel who share precisely the Chinese assessment of the situation in the region and in Kyrgyzstan, which does not always coincide with our political and economic interests. Overall, we can conclude that the active promotion of Confucian institutes in Kyrgyzstan is explained, first of all, by the priorities of the Chinese side to expand its presence in the region in the scientific, educational, information and cultural spheres.

Authors’ contribution. J.O. Omurova developed the general concept of the article, prepared the sections “Introduction”, “Method” and “Analysis” and a draft article for publication; Yu.A. Lysenko and A.M. Kylychev wrote the “Result” section, did scientific editing of the text, translated the article into English, and contributed significantly to the overall conclusion of the article.

Key words: Kyrgyzstan, China, Chinese language, cultural diplomacy, Confucius Institute, soft power, Confucius classes, Confucius Centers.

Citation. Omurova J.O., Lysenko Yu.A., Kylychev A.M. Confucius Institutes as a Tool of “Soft Power” in China’s Cultural Diplomacy in Kyrgyzstan. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2023, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 226-239. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2023.2.19.

Лицензия Creative Commons

Confucius Institutes as a Tool of “Soft Power” in China’s Cultural Diplomacy in Kyrgyzstan by Omurova J.O., Lysenko Yu.A., Kylychev A.M. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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