The Hard Evidence That China’s Soft Power Policy is Working – Gideon Rachman

From Financial Times:

The idea of soft power – invented by Joseph Nye, a Harvard professor – is that countries can often best achieve their objectives by persuasion rather than force. While the instruments of “hard” power are military and economic, the instruments of soft power are cultural and ideological.

Now the Chinese themselves are increasingly interested in developing soft power. The government in Beijing knows that many countries are anxious about a rising China. But if China looks like an attractive and friendly place, foreigners might be more relaxed about its growing power.

The thought that China could be a “soft superpower” sounds improbable. The Chinese government’s most iconic act of recent years was to murder large numbers of its citizens. It was American soft power that was displayed in Tiananmen Square in 1989, as students brandished a model of the Statue of Liberty. Chinese economic growth, while undeniably impressive, is widely associated in the west with pollution, cheap labour and a threat to jobs.[Full Text]

February 20, 2007 12:20 PM
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