China Plays Hardball with Soft Power – Jehangir Pocha

From In These Times:

Pirated translations of Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People are available on most Chinese street corners, and it would appear Chinese Communist Party officials have picked up a few copies. Maoist China used to assert itself on the world stage by exporting revolution, waging wars, funding insurgents and broadcasting subversive propaganda across Asia. But today's Chinese leaders have learned the value of a warm smile and firm handshake. Since "We couldn't beat 'em, let's charm 'em" appears to be Beijing's new dictum, China's new global ambassadors are not chiseled-faced "Red Guards" in fatigues, but svelte-suited diplomats, film personalities such as Wong Kar Wai and the amply bosomed Gong Li, designers such as Vivienne Tam, intellectuals such as Ha Jin, and billionaire businessmen. [Full Text]


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