Soft Power

China no longer passive on Middle East

Benjamin Netanyahu talks to Li Keqiang during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: AFP

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ended his visit to Beijing yesterday, analysts said China’s desire to play a greater role in Middle East affairs in order to expand its influence in the region had been conspicuous.

Saturday, 11 May, 2013, 4:57am 1 comment

Joseph Nye's soft power concept is lame

Paramilitary policemen, in uniforms and plainclothes, guard with fire extinguishers while tourists walk out of an entrance in front of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing. Photo: AP

China and Russia, two of the world's pre-eminent authoritarian states, just don't get soft power. That, at least, is what Joseph Nye, the Harvard international relations guru who coined the term, claims in a new commentary in Foreign Policy.

2 May 2013 - 1:23am 15 comments

Chinese general warns of Western 'cultural colonialism'

Paramilitary police guard the entrance of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing. Photo: AP

A high-ranking People's Liberation Army representative has called on China to counter increasing Western cultural infiltration, especially among young people.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Hospital in Lusaka symbol of China's soft power in Zambia

The general hospital in Lusaka built by China.Photo: Xinhua

Joy Bwalya-Mwale, 16, had a baby tied to her back and an umbrella to protect her from the burning sun. The teenage mother had come for a check-up at the Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia, where her daughter, Natalia, was born eight months ago.

1 May 2013 - 4:02am

China rivalled US for aid to Africa since 2000

China rivalled US for aid to Africa since 2000

China committed more than US$75 billion to Africa in the past decade, coming close to the level of US money although the nature of Beijing's support was far different, a study said.

1 May 2013 - 4:03am

High hopes for first lady Peng Liyuan

China's new President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan. Photo: AFP

China did not really have the equivalent of a first lady until a few days ago, when Peng Liyuan made her debut on the international stage during Xi Jinping's first overseas trip as president. With her colourful background and eye-catching outfits, the 50-year-old became an instant sensation at home and abroad. 

31 Mar 2013 - 2:08am 1 comment

Rising China disregarding neighbours, says Japanese study

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: AP

The rising might of China is causing it to act with increasing disregard towards its neighbours, a Japanese government-funded study said on Friday.

“China, against the backdrop of its rising national power and improvement in its military power, is increasingly taking actions that can cause frictions with neighbouring countries without fear,” said the East Asian Strategic Review.

29 Mar 2013 - 1:38pm 4 comments

First lady Peng Liyuan spurs boom in demand for home-grown labels

President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, are welcomed to Tanzania by President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and his wife, Salma Kikwete. Photo: AP

First lady Peng Liyuan's choice of home-grown designer brands on her maiden overseas trip with President Xi Jinping has been hailed as a boon for China's fashion industry, yearning for its own "Jason Wu moment".

26 Mar 2013 - 8:53am 10 comments

First lady Peng has to blaze her own trail on world stage, pundits say

President Xi Jinping and First lady Peng Liyuan wave from their plane on arrival at Dar es Salaam yesterday. The couple arrived in Tanzania from Moscow. Photo: Reuters

First lady Peng Liyuan may have inspired Chinese internet users during her maiden overseas trip with President Xi Jinping, but it is too early to conclude whether she can become a diplomatic star or help foster China's soft power.

25 Mar 2013 - 6:05am 1 comment

Soft power doesn't Die Hard, it fades

America's power and promise always delivered first with an impressive bang, until reality sinks in. Photo: NYT

Hollywood's action movie franchises inevitably went downhill. Perhaps this is a stand-in metaphor for America's power and promise, always delivered first with an impressive bang, until reality sinks in. First-time readers of the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence felt that bang too, until they learned more about the reality of empire.

14 Feb 2013 - 1:29am 3 comments

Mainland hopes to win American hearts and minds through cinema

Comedy Lost in Thailand

When The Avengers hit theatres in China last May, the same weekend it opened in the US, moviegoers there were bombarded with advertisements featuring Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk. Chinese audiences packed cinemas, buying some US$90 million worth of tickets and helping make the superhero movie the top-grossing film worldwide in 2012.

9 Feb 2013 - 4:52am

Soft-power strategy to rebalance Asia

Soft-power strategy to rebalance Asia

After months of tension over the South China Sea, Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping's meeting with Natsuo Yamaguchi, Japan's envoy and leader of the junior party in the ruling coalition, sends an unmistaken signal that while neither side is persuaded by the other's territorial claim, both realise that escalating confrontations can only make matters worse.

1 Feb 2013 - 3:02am