Amb. Tom Fletcher looks at how soft power resources can contribute to a nation's brand.

Many view Europe as a spent force in global politics. Conventional wisdom states that world politics today is unipolar, with the United States as the sole superpower. Or perhaps it is multipolar, with China, India, and the rest rising to challenge Western powers. Either way, Europe's role is secondary - and declining. The European Union, it is said, is too weak to avoid withering away in the face of Russian subversion, mass migration, right-wing revolt, British plans to leave, slow growth, and anemic defense spending.

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.

Chinese Soldiers in Beijing

CPD Blogger Fahim Masoud on what China must do to maximize its power.

The Dalai Lama is losing friends all over the place as the world undergoes a geopolitical realignment. The Dalai Lama used to be the guy everyone wanted at their party. But since China's emergence as an economic superpower, he's become an awkward guest to invite. Around the world, governments are limiting their contact with him — in some cases because of direct pressure by China, and in other cases, because of the chilling effect that pressure creates.

How the world views the U.S., China, and the competition between the two major rivals.