Sir Martin Davidson analyzes why China's soft power ranking does not match the amount it spends.
At a time when Europe appears ever more self-absorbed and the U.S. questions many of the foundations of post-war prosperity which it created, China appears ever more self-assured in offering an alternative narrative. [...] Despite this massive investment, China’s soft power still languishes far behind that of its Western rivals in most comparative studies: 28th out of 30 in Portland’s 2016 report on soft power or 20th out of 25 according to Monocle.
Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi were apparently talking movies, among other things, at a summit in Kazakhstan on Friday. Xi mentioned that he, like millions of Chinese, had enjoyed the hit Bollywood film Dangal. Xi and Modi went on to discuss boosting cultural cooperation between the two countries. [...] Dangal is still screening across China at more than 7,000 cinemas.Its success follows a string of other Bollywood films that have won over Chinese audiences in recent years, including the previous biggest hit, PK, which took in 118 million yuan.
"Individuals are increasingly important to solving some of the world’s most intractable challenges," says Timothy Jenkins.
China's President Xi Jinping, on the way to his eagerly awaited first encounter with Donald Trump, met his Finnish counterpart in Helsinki Wednesday, extending Beijing's famed "panda diplomacy" to Finland. The two sides agreed to carry out "cooperative panda research" and "make the pandas messengers of friendship between our two countries," Xi said at a joint press conference in Helsinki.
Glamorous, popular and passionate about fighting AIDS, Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan is Beijing’s diplomatic not-so-secret weapon spreading Chinese soft power around the world. A former singing star in the People’s Liberation Army, “Mother Peng”, as she is affectionately known in China, will be at President Xi Jinping’s side as he meets US President Donald Trump in Florida next week.
The match also represented something else: a case study in the globalization of European soccer, with a decidedly Chinese flavor. Both teams were acquired in 2016 by Chinese investors for a total exceeding $1 billion, a capstone to a flurry of Chinese purchases of European soccer clubs over the past two years. [...] China’s big soccer play is of a piece with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream” idea of attaining national greatness
The American withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement has opened the door to China to try and strike a pose as the leading defender of liberalized trade and globalization. The public face of this new push is none other than China’s president. This month, Xi became the first Chinese president to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos where he set forth the case for continuing to expand global trade.