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China Policy Institute: Analysis

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soft power

China’s soft power strategy can’t keep up with its fearsome reputation

Written by Tom Harper.

China is eagerly trying to win hearts and minds in politically and economically crucial states, especially those with abundant natural resources. In foreign policy terms, this is a push for what’s widely known as “soft power” – the ability to win other states over to specific goals without the use of force. Continue reading “China’s soft power strategy can’t keep up with its fearsome reputation”

Soft Power, East Asian Sport and the Delayed ‘Neo-Wilsonian’ Renaissance.

Written by James Mangan.

 … the Triple East Asian Olympic Games … are the precursors of Asian mega events to come: sooner rather than later. The momentum … will increase year by year. The traction of the Asian engine grows increasingly more powerful and there should no doubts in Western minds that these events collectively are ascendant symbols of Asia Rising; differentially but emphatically across its nations – politically, economically and culturally…[1] Continue reading “Soft Power, East Asian Sport and the Delayed ‘Neo-Wilsonian’ Renaissance.”

Are Chinese-style gardens built outside China a form of ‘soft power’?

Written by Josepha Richard.

Chinese-style gardens have been built outside Chinese territories since the 17th century. However, in the 20th century, they were considerably outnumbered by Japanese-style gardens by as many as 10 to 1[1]. For a long time, the concept of the Japanese garden seemed to have captured non-Asian imaginations of what an East Asian garden should look like, and amalgams between Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cultures contributed to this confusion. Even after the re-opening of China and the subsequent string of Chinese-style garden projects built abroad during the 1980 and 90s (the most famous is probably Aston Court at the Met), this state of field held true.

Continue reading “Are Chinese-style gardens built outside China a form of ‘soft power’?”

Taiwan’s trouble talking to the world

Written by Gary Rawnsley.

On 25 August 2016, China’s Xinhua News Agency posted a short film on Twitter about the construction of a pipeline between Fujian province and Jinmen. Once finished, the pipeline will divert water from the mainland to help this ‘Islet of Taiwan’ overcome shortages. In just forty-four seconds, a powerful narrative was established: Taiwan has problems; and Jinmen must depend on the PRC, not Taiwan’s elected government, to solve those problems.

Continue reading “Taiwan’s trouble talking to the world”

China in Qatar

Written by Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat.

The use of soft power has become an important element of China’s foreign policy. In its pivot to the Gulf ,China has used soft-power resources to strengthen its foothold in the region. Qatar is a good case in point.

Educational partnership is perhaps the most apparent element of Chinese soft-power initiatives around the world, including Qatar. As Rasmus Bertelsen argues, educational institutions have become important soft-power sources as they function as bridges between individuals, financial resources and information in their society of origin and their host society. Acknowledging this, China has exerted various efforts to bolster its educational soft-power in Qatar by tethering its aspirations to the worldwide popularity of its language and culture. The Translation and Interpreting Studies (TII) of Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) signed an MoU with Chinese Embassy in Qatar to collaborate in the areas of language teaching and cultural activities. Today, Chinese courses are being offered at the institution. Continue reading “China in Qatar”

Implications for China’s Soft Power under Xi Jinping

Written by Kingsley Edney.

Soft power has become a popular concept in China. When Hu Jintao mentioned soft power in his report to the 2007 National Party Congress he ignited an explosion of scholarly work on soft power and ensured that officials all around the country would take the concept seriously. As Hu’s administration promoted the notions of ‘peaceful rise’ (later ‘peaceful development’) and ‘harmonious world’, soft power in China came to primarily refer to ‘cultural soft power’ (wenhua ruan shili).

Nye’s three original soft power ‘resources’ — culture, political values and foreign policy — were trimmed to suit the party-state’s needs. Now that Xi Jinping’s leadership has shaken up Chinese domestic and foreign policy what are the implications for China’s soft power strategy? Continue reading “Implications for China’s Soft Power under Xi Jinping”

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