The South China Morning Post (via A Glimpse of the World blog) writes about China’s soft power efforts:
Much that is discussed about China’s foreign policy and security posture today revolves around its military – warships and fighter jets bought from Russia, 1,300 missiles aimed at Taiwan and the latest manoeuvres by the People’s Liberation Army.
There’s another side to China’s emerging might, however; what some pundits call “soft power”, “smiling diplomacy” or the “charm offensive”. Most of that effort is the application of China’s expanding economy to trade, aid and investment to achieve political ends.
In a wider context, China’s soft power seems integral to what may be a campaign to revive the Middle Kingdom, the China of yesteryear that dominated Asia. [Full text]