China's Soft Power and International Relations: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

China's Soft Power and International Relations

1st Edition

Edited by Hongyi Lai, Yiyi Lu


218 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

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China’s soft power has attracted considerable attention in the recent decade. In this volume scholars from the U.K., Europe, the U.S., Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and mainland China, including a number of well established and well known analysts on China, examine main areas where China has made noticeable advances in its appeal and influence. They include China’s foreign policy discourse, international communication, cultural diplomacy, and foreign assistance. In addition, Chinese concept of soft power, foreign policy strategy, and the relationship between its international standing and that of the U.S. are also closely analysed. The volume covers some of the most recent development and assesses China’s soft power critically. This book offers an assessment of China’s efforts to cultivate its international image, as well as a critique of Nye’s theory of soft power. It draws on case studies of the Chinese diplomatic practice and utilizes world opinion polls. This volume offers a theoretical and empirical perspective on the discussion on soft power with a particular focus on China’s soft power.


"This book [may] well serve to provide readers with a better understanding of China’s recent diplomatic initiatives, and how China is seeking to balance between hard and soft power, between assertive and reassuring external behavior." - Taehwan Kim, Director of the Public Diplomacy Department at the Korea Foundation; Global Asia (

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Hongyi Lai 2. "Soft Power" and Chinese Soft Power Zheng Yongnian and Chi Zhang 3. Soft Language, Soft Imagery and Soft Power in China’s Diplomatic Lexicon David Scott 4. The Quandary of China’s Soft-Power Rhetoric: The "Peaceful-Rise" Concept and Internal Debate Dominik Mierzejewski 5. China’s Cultural Diplomacy: Going for Soft Power Hongyi Lai 6. Challenges for China’s International Communication Yiyi Lu 7. Challenges for China’s Harmonious Diplomacy Cheng (Jason) Qian 8. Debunking the Myth of China’s Soft Power: Changes in China’s Use of Foreign Assistance from 1949 to the Present Merriden Varral 9. Is China Rising at America’s Expenses? Anti-Americanism and Pro-China Sentiments in Global Public Opinion Zixiao Yang, David Zweig, and Zhengxu Wang 10. China’s Foreign Policy as a Rising Power in the Early 21st Century: The Struggle between Taoguangyanghui and Assertiveness Suisheng Zhao

About the Editors

Hongyi Lai is Associate Professor, School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham and a Senior Research Fellow of the China Policy Institute, the University of Nottingham.

Yiyi Lu is a Senior Research Fellow at the China Society of Economic Reform and an Associate with the New Diplomacy Platform.

About the Series

China Policy Series

With the rise of China and its impact on the world, interest in China has increased drastically in recent years. This series focuses on policy-oriented research and scholarly works with policy implications, on all aspects of contemporary Chinese economy, politics, society, environment, journalism and cultures.  It also covers China’s foreign relations with major international organizations such as the United Nations, World Trade Organization, and World Bank, and major powers such as the United States, European Union (and its member states), Japan and others.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies