Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power Is Transforming the World (A New Republic Book)

Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power Is Transforming the World (A New Republic Book)

Joshua Kurlantzick

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0300136285

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, China is poised to become a major global power. And though much has been written of China’s rise, a crucial aspect of this transformation has gone largely unnoticed: the way that China is using soft power to appeal to its neighbors and to distant countries alike.
This book is the first to examine the significance of China’s recent reliance on soft power—diplomacy, trade incentives, cultural and educational exchange opportunities, and other techniques—to project a benign national image, position itself as a model of social and economic success, and develop stronger international alliances. Drawing on years of experience tracking China’s policies in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa, Joshua Kurlantzick reveals how China has wooed the world with a "charm offensive" that has largely escaped the attention of American policy makers.
Beijing’s new diplomacy has altered the political landscape in Southeast Asia and far beyond, changing the dynamics of China’s relationships with other countries. China also has worked to take advantage of American policy mistakes, Kurlantzick contends. In a provocative conclusion, he considers a future in which China may be the first nation since the Soviet Union to rival the United States in international influence.

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International Institute for Strategic Studies, and other participants in conferences on foreign aid held in Beijing, Aug. and Nov. 2005. See also Michael A. Glosny, “Meeting the Development Challenge in the Twenty-first Century: American and Chinese Perspectives on Foreign Aid,” National 264 Notes to Pages 97–102 Committee on United States–China Relations China Policy series report, Aug 2006. 31. Interview with Thai officials, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand,

Dragon?” National Interest, Sept.–Oct 2006, 67–71. 20. Richard Paddock, “Rumor of Thai Actress’ Words Salted a Wound,” Los Angeles Times, 3 Feb. 2003. See also Andrew Perrin and Matt McKinney, “Blast from the Past,” Time Asia, 2 Feb. 2003, 42. 21. Paddock, “Rumor”; see also “Khmers Raze Embassy,” Nation (Thailand), 30 Jan. 2003. Howard Altman, “The King of Bling Bling,” Amer- ican Journalism Review, Sept. 2002, 54-59. 22. Perrin and McKinney, “Blast from the Past”; Kimina Lyall, “Thais Flee

reason to worry: the history of interactions between China and the rest of Asia stretches back millennia, and gives little reassurance to other Asian countries. As the historians John King Fairbank and Merle Goldman write, historically China viewed the na- tions of Southeast Asia as inferior vassal states. China carried out a foreign policy in which it sought to dominate these countries without militarily controlling them; other Asian countries offered the Chinese court lavish gifts,

the money to improve the mine. The company paid the fine, but its man- agers still didn’t improve working conditions, probably be- cause paying fines seemed cheaper than spending money to upgrade. Shougang had no background experience of dealing with protests or unions, and the Peruvian government would not take more steps to punish the company. “There is a culture problem,” Peru’s minister of mines told Reuters. “The Chinese managers see their way of doing things as discipline, while the

system and tuned to Voice of America for their news. One study found that in the 1980s some 70 percent of Chinese university students trusted Voice of America but 75 percent distrusted the Chinese media—numbers that would shift in the 1990s.10 In fact, throughout the 1980s China’s economic opening seemed to signal the creation of a cosmopolitan, inquisitive in- tellectual class committed to China’s eventual democratiza- tion. Inside the government, officials created a task force com-

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