The Chinese Brand: Soft Power with Chinese Characteristics
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Following the Chinese Communist Party?s violent reaction to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, the People?s Republic of China experienced a diplomatic nightmare through international condemnation and economic sanctions. In the decades since the Tiananmen massacre, the CCP has focused on promoting itself as a ?responsible? power to the international community through a variety of soft power initiatives. Soft power, a term coined by Harvard Professor Joseph Nye, refers to a nation?s ability to attract others through its culture, domestic values, policies and institutions, as well as foreign policy, and achieve its goals without the use of coercion or force. In recent years, China has joined a number of multilateral institutions, spread the Chinese language and culture through its five hundred Confucius Institutes worldwide, and invested heavily and given substantial aid to developing countries, particularly in Africa and Latin America. China has become a model for the developing world due to its rapid economic development while still maintaining strict authoritarian rule. The PRC also emphasizes respect for territorial sovereignty as well as friendly relations with all nations regardless of their political ideology or human rights record. But does this recent surge in Chinese public diplomacy truly constitute Nye?s definition of soft power? And how successful has China been in implementing its public diplomacy efforts? This paper will analyze Chinese soft power in the context of both the Chinese definition of soft power as well as Nye?s, and determine to what extent their public diplomacy efforts have furthered their foreign policy objectives.