China Policy Institute Blog

China’s state media and the outsourcing of soft power

Written by Jichang Lulu. “Foreign shill,” muttered someone, while an Australian reporter addressed the head of the People’s Bank at a press conference. The Melbourne-based “fake foreign media” organisation she worked for had already made news two years before, when their correspondent at the 18th Party Congress got multiple chances to ask exquisitely phrased innocuous …

Confucius Institutes and China’s ‘soft power’

Written by James F. Scotton. Confucius Institutes, the Chinese government’s language and cultural centres hosted by universities throughout the world, are facing increasing academic resistance in the west. The Institutes, first launched in 2004, have been a remarkable success. By 2011 there were more than 400 Confucius Institutes plus an equal number of Confucius Classrooms in …

Chinese Language and Beijing’s Public Diplomacy

Written by Sheng Ding. The political effects of language acquisition, culture exchange, and education contact are important in respect to soft power appeal, and have received growing attention from policy-makers around the world. Indeed, those who will be impacted most by the appeal of a country’s soft power are the people who can speak its language …

The Soft Power of Local Elections

Written by Stefan Braig. One of the core elements of Taiwan’s soft power and public diplomacy is its self-portrayal as the beacon of democracy among ethnic Chinese societies. While for the green camp, democracy is something that sets Taiwan apart from China, for the ruling KMT democracy is what makes Taiwan a model for future …

Reflections on the Transformation of CCTV Documentary

Written by Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley. When looking at China’s soft power mechanism, much study has focused on the PRC’s rigorous international expansion of media outlets in the twenty-first century. Indeed it is worth noting that since the Chinese government announced its ‘going out’ policy in 2001 many new international platforms in different shapes and forms have …

CCTV and the race for soft power

Written by Xiaoling Zhang. The Chinese official media outlets, especially the “Big Four” as Yang Jiechi the State Councillor calls them — Xinhua News Agency, Central China Television (CCTV), China Radio International (CRI), and China Daily — are making substantial efforts to increase China’s influence in the world as an instrument of China’s grander soft power engagement. …

The Public Diplomacy of Zhang Zhijun’s Journey to Taiwan

Written by Gary Rawnsley. The historic significance of Zhang Zhijun’s visit to Taiwan cannot be overstated: As Minister for the PRC’s State Council-level Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) he is the highest ranking official from the PRC to set foot on the island in 65 years, and his four-days tour follows his meetings in Nanjing and …

Student protests and Taiwan’s soft power

Written by Gary Rawnsley. A state’s soft power capacity is determined by how it behaves, at home and abroad. It is derived from a style of government that recognises first the significance of values, principles and political arrangements that make a particular state attractive; and second that in putting those values into practice, what you …

China’s public diplomacy shifts focus: From building hardware to improving software

Written by Ingrid d’Hooghe. China spends more money and effort on developing public diplomacy strategies and instruments than any other country in the world. The Chinese government has embraced the ideas of soft power and public diplomacy to an extent not often seen in China with regard to political concepts from abroad. It believes that …

Limits of China’s Cultural Diplomacy

Written by Gary Rawnsley. It is not surprising that the government in Beijing has privileged culture and tradition in its soft power strategy as these should be the easiest themes to sell and they avoid giving further prominence to the political and social issues that undermine China’s soft power credibility. The Chinese clearly have an …