Citing Gramsci’s theory of cultural hegemony, Eriks Varpahovskis provides historical examples of states' resistance to cultural diplomacy products. 

Over the past several decades, much has been written about China’s “peaceful rise.” But with this meteoric rise in economic development, there has been a rise in China’s military modernization and its ever-increasing assertiveness in defense posture. This has raised concerns among China’s neighbors regarding its intentions.

In the course of the visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Egypt on January 20-22, 2016, Egypt and China announced a five-year, multi-sector cooperation agreement. [...] On a symbolic level, Egypt and China also declared 2016 as “the Egyptian-Chinese cultural year.”

The conventional wisdom on U.S. alliances in Asia, at least in the West, Japan, and Taiwan (but not necessarily in South Korea), is that they are broadly a good thing. One hears this pretty regularly from U.S. officials and the vast network of U.S. think tanks and foundations, such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the American Enterprise Institute, and their many doubles in Asia.

This Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping will launch what is being billed as the most important conclave of Chinese leaders since 1978, the year that Deng Xiaoping transformed China from a dying Red giant into a market-driven dynamo. (“Seek truth from facts,” rather than communist ideology, he said.) The historic “Third Plenum” of Xi's term is meant to signal that he has consolidated power, decided on a direction for the country, and achieved consensus with the political class.