Who's Afraid of China?: The Challenge of Chinese Soft Power (Asian Arguments)

Who's Afraid of China?: The Challenge of Chinese Soft Power (Asian Arguments)

Michael Barr

Language: English

Pages: 162

ISBN: B01MAXSE9O

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


What role does China play in the Western imagination? The rise of China as an alternative model to Western liberalism has created a fear that developing countries will stray from Western standards of democracy, transparency, and human rights. However, such fears often say as much about those who hold them as they do about China itself. Who's Afraid of China? holds a mirror to Sino-Western relations in order to better understand how the West's own past, hopes, and fears shape the way it thinks about and engages with China. Focusing on three key areas -- models of development, soft power, and ethnocentrism -- this provocative new book argues that the rise of China touches a nerve in the Western psyche and presents a fundamental challenge to ideas about modernity, history, and international relations.

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Medical Sciences. His research investigates the implications of the rise of China, particularly issues impacting on Sino–Western security relations. He has actively promoted awareness of the dualuse implications of biotechnology and has sought to help train life scientists and ethicists in China in order to minimize biosecurity risks. He has published on issues pertaining to Chinese soft power, biosecurity, the history of medical ethics and dual-use bioethics. who ’ s afraid of china? The

should seek to be harmonious rather than merely fair. Zhao’s reason is that fairness could conceal a slight but nevertheless serious injustice in the game itself: play could be unjust if not all of the players agree with aspects of the game, such as its goals and rules. Here it helps to think of an analogy. In some court cases, for example, the defendant may refuse to recognize the authority of the court even though the actual proceedings may be fair in terms of time allotted to each side to call

in the nineteenth century by the West’s immoral violence. However, the worrying aspect for some is that when Zhao writes of the ‘advantages and disadvantages of different cultures’, it is reminiscent of the ‘civilization/barbarism’ distinction. This hierarchy of cultures takes as its goal the transformation of enemies into friends – if not by force then by conversion. While Zhao suggests that we need to transform people by ‘improving their interests’, it reminds one of the tactics used by the

international system and political theory. The tianxia discourse seeks to develop a Chinese school of international relations in an environment that is dominated by Western theory. Tianxia works to enhance China’s soft power as the source of a universally valid model of world politics. Unlike most other examples in this book, it is being pushed by public intellectuals more than the government. In fact, some aspects of tianxia contradict Beijing’s promise to be a responsible power. Seemingly,

that meant resorting to drill sergeant-type tactics and the seemingly constant reinforcement that something was never enough. Chua’s piece hardly reflects parenting styles in China today, which are better characterized by her classification of ‘Western permissive parenting’. But that was hardly the point. Her main target really was Chinese minorities in the USA. To back her claims, Chua cited studies that showed out of fifty American mothers and forty-eight Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70

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