The Changing Images of Chinese Characters in the Ethiopian Literary Landscape

Balew Demissie Kebede


Ethiopia and China, after the 2000s, have shown strong relations in economy, trade, investment, aid, culture, strategic cooperation, diplomacy, and education. These relations increase China’s presence in Ethiopia. A range of researchers has studied the two countries’ relations from diverse lenses. This study examines the images of Chinese characters in the Ethiopian literary landscape using eclectic theories of representation. The study found that the Ethiopian literary landscape depicted Chinese characters positively despite a few negative depictions still prevailing. The portrayal sites are constructions, human relations, and cultural co-operations from ordinary Chinese perspectives. Writers due to their quest for Ethiopia’s development like that of China portrayed Chinese characters positively. The study concludes that the fictional works show the changing images of Chinese characters in the Ethiopian literary landscape. The study implicates that Ethiopia and China should work more on soft power to make Ethio-China relations more sustainable.


China; Ethiopia; Changing image; Literature; Amharic; Representation

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