Soft Power & ChinaEdit

What is Soft Power?Edit

'Soft Power is a persuasive approach to international relations, typically involving the use of economic or cultural influence. The concept was designed by Joseph Nye at Harvard in the early 2000's. To go into detail, soft power is persuasion; you persuade someone else to align their goals with yours by being pleasant. Recently, Soft Power has also been used in reference to changing and influencing social and public opinion through relatively less transparent channels.

Origins of Soft Power in ChinaEdit

China first began to get interested in soft power in the early 1990s, but didn't really take hold until the mid-2000s, perhaps 2007 when then-President Hu Jintao gave a speech in which he linked the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation to the ability of China to deploy soft power, "I think probably the most interesting turning point... was when Hu Jintao addressed the 17th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and said that China needs to invest more in its soft power... When you see the big boss say this is a priority then you see a big takeoff in terms of Chinese investments and also in writings about soft power. I think China realizes that it isn’t enough to have economic and military power, it’s more effective if you combine that with soft power." (1).

Soft Power and China todayEdit

Under Xi China's soft power has received some animsoty. China has suffered from his crackdown on civil society and from the nationalistic response to China’s disputes with its neighbours. However, economically China is still growing exponentially and has overtaken many world powers (I.E. Japan) in GDP. China's traditional culture is very deep and diverse and entices many people and will help expand influence later.

China’s Panda DiplomacyEdit


Sources CitedEdit

1. Nye, Joseph S., Jr. "The Benefits of Soft Power." HBS Working Knowledge. Harvard Law, 2 Aug. 2004. Web. 23 May 2017. <>. 2.