Media engagement in Africa serves as a component of China‟s contemporary public
diplomacy drive, which allows for deeper bilateral diplomatic and economic relations.
This paper provides the context and impetus that motivated Chinese state media
players to provide their own content and point of view since 2009. Whilst public
diplomacy is non-specific in that it seeks to achieve a wider enabling environment than
specific objectives, it is also oversimplified to employ a singular approach to such a
dynamic and changing continent. Rather, the case study of South Africa is used to
demonstrate the limits and potential of China‟s public diplomacy engagement. This
paper also highlights the nature of South Africa-China relations and the South African
landscape as defining factors that affect the way China to engage meaningfully.