The charm of China’s soft power

People’s Daily Online

Copyright People’s Daily Online
Joseph Nye, former dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at
Harvard University put forward the concept of “soft power” for the
time 15 years ago. He pointed out that hard power, ‘the ability to use
carrots and sticks of weapons and economic might to make others to
follow your will’ is essential to show a country’s capability, but what
is indispensable is the inexpensive soft power, ‘the ability to get
you want by attracting and persuading others to adopt your goals’. He
held that the soft power in the US mainly comes from the
non-governmental organizations, especially Hollywood, Harvard
and Microsoft etc. And such organizations often blame the US government
of not developing soft power properly.
Government can indeed create and use soft power on various occasions.
China has made significant endeavors in this aspect over the past few
years, in the field of diplomacy in particular. For instance, President
Hu Jintao has paid friendly visits to many countries and put forward
idea of building a harmonious world, promoted the multilateral
cooperation with Russia under the framework of Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO), urged the early solution of Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea’s nuclear standoff through “shuttle diplomacy” and
held six-party talks, etc. All of these have reaped positive results.
The soft power mainly constitutes of culture, values and policy. With
rich connotation, the Chinese culture is quite attractive to foreigners
and the excellent tradition that treasures peace as the most precious
widely appreciated. China adapts to the world trend and has put up
forward the ideas of taking the peaceful development road and building
harmonious society and a harmonious world. The ideas are very inspiring
to the world. It not only helps resolve doubts on China’s rapid
development, but also win approval from the international community.
Hard power and soft power are mutually beneficial at times. For
when some regions are plagued with catastrophe, although China couldn’t
become the largest donor considering its own capability, it often takes
the lead in offering relief materials for those in need. China was the
first country to send medical rescue team to Pakistan after devastating
earthquake rocked South Asia last year. If persistently pursuing the
principle of “being the first to care” when in need, China will no
exert a tremendous influence in the international community.
By People’s Daily Online

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