China’s rise and ASEAN: A complex and evolving landscape

Written by Oliver Turner. It is often said that as a new power rises it becomes more assertive and uses its increasing capabilities to expand its influence and even its territory abroad. Europe’s long history of expansionism, as well as the United States’ colonisation of much of North America, lends support to these claims. Some …

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 …

Selling China in the South Pacific: is anyone buying?

Written by Graeme Smith. As the game show If You Are The One proves, soft power may emanate from China despite the Chinese government. Although contestants are told to avoid mention of “politics, religion, sex, pornography, violence, international relations or the Chinese government”, there are few vectors of influence the Chinese leadership are less comfortable with. …

China’s Rising Economic Soft Power

Written by John Wong. Shortly after consolidating his power to become China’s only real “strong man” since Deng Xiaoping, President Xi Jinping promised national rejuvenation to realize his “Chinese dream”. Externally, Xi has been pursuing an active foreign policy to elevate China’s international standing. The main thrust of Xi’s foreign policy is to cultivate “good-neighbourly relations” with …

The Rise of Chinese Soft Power in Africa

Written by Adams Bodomo. Is there Chinese soft power in Africa, and how does this compare with American soft power? Most people often begin discussion on soft power with the definition first put forth by American scholar, Joseph Nye. For me, soft power comprises the positive socio-political and socio-cultural influences a polity and its citizens have …

Soft Power on the Defensive: The Contradictions of Chinese Foreign Policy

Written by James F. Paradise. China’s soft power offensive has not been fully effective. One reason is that many outsiders find it difficult to buy into Chinese values because of political repression, cultural chauvinism and bad pollution in China. Another reason is that some activities in the military and economic spheres are starting to give …

The Belt and Road and Suez Canal: China-Egypt Relations Under Xi Jinping

Written by Shannon Tiezzi. Sandwiched between his stops in Saudi Arabia and Iran, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Egypt was somewhat overlooked as part of his first trip to the Middle East. Yet the China-Egypt relationship will be one to watch carefully over the next decade. Like Saudi Arabia, Egypt is a traditional U.S. …

China-Africa summit: what to look for beyond the hype and hypocrisy

Written by John J Stremlau. Beijing’s selection of South Africa to host the China-Africa heads of state summit may indicate Chinese President Xi Jinping’s personal commitment to the continent. This is the first time the summit is being held at this level in Africa. It may also show his desire to reassure Africa that, despite …

China and the Global Great Game: New Order not New Imperialism

Written by Grant Dawson. China’s recent stock-market crisis has undermined international confidence in China as a sure and steady engine of economic growth. The image many now have is of China exporting uncertainty, in addition to everything from toys to high-speed rail infrastructure. This is largely an over-reaction. The crash erased USD 4.5 trillion in …

Imperial Examination Tradition and Today’s Foreign Policy Making in China

Written by Yiyi Chen. In a previous paper, I made the observation that today’s Chinese Communist Party central government makes its foreign policy decisions transparently, predictably and rationally. This results from the CCP’s willingness to “pay a price for pride” on behalf of the entire nation, whose shared historical memory is of a century of humiliation by …