Madagascar - China Cooperation : Diplomacy and Health

Currently, the relationship between Madagascar and China has lasted for more than forty years. Various acts of diplomacy and significant cooperation have marked its history. Despite the existence of a strong French diplomacy, the stability of this diplomacy is a real challenge. It is very specific in health cooperation. As proof, as part of this cooperation, China has built the Anosiala University Hospital Center and Madagascar is in charge of its management. However, the pandemic covid-19 put that into challenge.

In the fight against this dangerous disease, Madagascar requisitioned this hospital and launched its own infusion covid organics. In this context, synchronized events such as diplomatic actions and public actions compete. Diplomatic and public acts have turned into acts of hospital officials and reactions of patients. Even if the management of those in charge was successful and the reception of the patients was warm, anguish overwhelmed them both. On the spot, diplomatic strategy turns then into anxiety.

Despite the tense political discussion on the effectiveness of the infusion, Madagascar still went through the health danger of 2020. In addition, in terms of cooperation, diplomacy does not seem to care about that. It continues to follow its logical line and even manages to end up with new agreements. On the contrary, the operational actions were in difficulty for the Malagasy officials concerning the infusion and the management. To understand what happened, we strive to make research through documentaries and interviews in order (i) to know the history of the cooperation for more than 40 years, (ii) to identify the logic of diplomatic sequences, (iii) to show what is obvious, (iv) to determine the level of context in which the Malagasy and the Chinese find themselves, (v) to report the facts. For the interview, we had the Doctor in charge of the hospital and the Malagasy star Tence Mena as a patient.

Thus, for 40 years, the strategies of Chinese diplomacy were well sequenced, starting with health, then trade, after economy and technology, and ending with investment security, which ensures future investments. Therefore, their diplomatic model is multidimensional. While, Malagasy diplomatic strategies are punctual and seem less dimensioned. The counterparts in the negotiations are not well known. This means that the Chinese seem to be in a high cultural context and the Malagasy people are in a low cultural context. Obviously, responsibles in the hospital respect but instructions. According to Edward Hall, the high context refers to societies or groups where people have strong ties over a long period of time. Cultural behavior is not explicit as most members know what to do and what to think after years of interacting with each other. On the contrary, low or weak context refers to societies where people tend to have many connections but of shorter duration or for a specific reason. Cultural behaviors and beliefs may need to be stated explicitly so that those entering the cultural environment know how to behave. In the case of this cooperation, Chinese decision-makers are very futuristic while Malagasy are presentistic.

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