Over the past 18 months, the Chinese government has instituted a substantial cultural diplomacy program, the establishment of Confucius Institutes, which offer Chinese language teaching for foreigners. With 100 institutes planned worldwide by 2010, they constitute a powerful element of the “soft power” China seeks to build as part of its development of a global role.
China is not the first developing country to use this type of cultural diplomacy. However, the size and impact of the Confucius Institutes is much greater than any previous attempts at cultural diplomacy by a non-developed state. [Full Text]