One belt, one road, one Eurasia.

Written by Thomas F. Remington. Russian attitudes toward the ambitious “one belt, one road” project advanced by General Secretary Xi Jinping tend to fall into one of two camps. One group of strategists regards China’s ambitions with fear, the other with hope. The first decry the loss of Russian influence in Central Asia as China’s investment …

China: building soft power by contributing to global governance

Written by Ingrid d’Hooghe. Although the words ‘soft power’ and ‘public diplomacy’ figure less in Chinese leaders’ speeches and government reports these days, China is as focused as ever on building soft power and improving its international image. China’s public diplomacy however, seems to be shifting its priorities from promoting Chinese culture as the major source …

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. …

All that Glitters is Not Gold: The Limits of China’s Soft Power

Written by Shogo Suzuki. China’s soft power offensive has garnered a lot of attention in recent years. In line with the ubiquitous narratives worrying about the West’s (inevitable) decline and the corresponding ‘rise of China’, many commentators have stated that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) ‘charm offensive’ is the latest form of the ‘China threat’. …

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 …

Are China and Russia swapping strategies in Central Asia?

Written by Peter Krasnopolsky. There is a common view that while China has developed a strong economic position in the post-Soviet Central Asia, Russia is still the main political player there. Recent developments, though, suggest the roles of the two major powers may have changed. China’s image in Central Asia is not favorable. A Kyrgyz saying …

From disdain to greater interests: China and the rest of the world.

Written by Daouda Cissé. China is at the heart of the world economy. China’s economy has never been more strongly connected to the global economy than today. Increasingly, China’s economic success or downturn has impact on the global economy. China’s impact on the current crisis of the global commodity market and the recent turmoil in the …

Confusing Public Diplomacy and Soft Power

Written by Barry Buzan. There is little doubt that in relation to its size, wealth, and culture, China underperforms in the area of soft power, is conscious of that weakness, and wants to improve its performance (Li, 2008). Soft power is about the non-coercive ability to change the preferences of others, to make them want …