China's Soft Power

Napoleon Bonaparte once said of China, “Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.” A spate of articles and books has appeared on the rise of China and its possible domination of the world.

A young student learns Chinese.

CPD Director Jian Wang gives an overview of the latest issue of Perspectives on Public Diplomacy.

Chinese hackers in March broke into the computer networks of the United States government agency that houses the personal information of all federal employees, according to senior American officials. They appeared to be targeting the files on tens of thousands of employees who have applied for top-secret security clearances. The hackers gained access to some of the databases of the Office of Personnel Management before the federal authorities detected the threat and blocked them from the network, according to the officials. 

China’s global image faces challenges - but if asked to choose between its national interests and preserving its national image, China would choose the former. A recent poll conducted by the BBC World Service shows that China’s international image is not that great around the world. Although this year China’s international image is equally divided (42 percent vs. 42 percent) between those who think China’s influence is positive and those who think it is negative, China’s image in Japan and South Korea (two of China’s most important Asian neighbors) is quite negative.

John Layton - The Globalization of Chinese Soft Power

The Confucius Institute and Confucius Classrooms as seen in Lafayette, Indiana.

Since Mr. Xi Jinping was elected as the General Secretary of the Communist Party and the Head of the Military Commission, the world has been musing about the possibilities of Chinese reform under his presidency. Some people speculated on connections of his visit to Iowa in 1985 and his fondness of Hollywood films to his possible liberal stance; while others, who understand the inner workings of Chinese politics, suspected no huge transformation would take place in the foreseeable future as President Xi himself is not the only decision maker.