Promoting China's cultural soft power by disseminating modern Chinese values is one of the policies of President Xi Jinping. Although, it is usually understood as a top-down initiative, implemented willingly or unwillingly by writers, filmmakers, artists, and so on, and often manifesting itself in clumsy and awkward ways, for example, the concept of "the Chinese dream," intended to rival and perhaps appeal more strongly than "the American dream," modern Chinese values are in fact put forward in many ways by many different cultural actors. Through analyses of film festivals, CCTV, Confucius Institutes, auteurs, blockbusters, reality TV, and online digital cultures, this book exposes the limitations of China's officially promoted soft power in both conception and practice, and proposes a pluralistic approach to understanding Chinese soft power in local, regional, and transnational contexts. As such, the book demonstrates the limitations of existing theories of soft power, and argues that the US-derived concept of soft power can benefit from being examined from a China perspective.
Table of Contents
1. Screening China’s Soft Power: Screen Cultures and Discourses of Power Part I What’s SAPPRFT got to do with it: the limitations, or failure, of Chinese soft power 2. Projecting Influence: Film and the Limits of Beijing’s Soft Power, Paul Clark 3.Soft Power in the Living Room: A Survey of Television Drama in CCTV's Foreign Language Channels, Dani Madrid-Morales 4. Poetics of Failure: Performing Humanism in the Chinese Blockbuster, Victor Fan 5. Going to Hollywood with Non-Han Films: A Potential Soft-Power Synergy? Vanessa Frangville 6. UpClose, Broadcasting the Chinese Dream: CCTV News and China’s Cultural Policy Presented to a Global Audience, Viola Sarnelli Part II From east-west to south-south: localising soft power 7. Non-State Agents, Quotidian Soft Power, and the Work of the Overseas Film Festival: Case Studies from London, Luke Robinson 8. Towards A "Chinese Cinema" in New Zealand: Transnational Cinema as Localized Soft Power, Luo Hui 9.CCTV Africa in an Expanding Mediasphere: Chinese Soft Power and a South-South Connectivity out of Kenya, Keith B. Wagner Part III Auteurs, animateurs, and matchmakers: pluralising Chinese soft power 10. Animating Virtual Soft Power: Digital Animation's Dreams, Nightmares, and Wonders, Paola Voci 11. Soft Power by Accident or by Design: If You Are the One and Chinese Television, Wanning Sun 12. Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart (2015) and the China Dream, or, How Chinese Art Cinema Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Chinese Soft Power, Elena Pollacchi 13. The Feminine Touch: Chinese Soft Power Politics and Hong Kong Women Filmmakers, Gina Marchetti Afterword: Shifting Perspectives on Soft Power
Paola Voci is an Associate Professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures at the University of Otago.
Luo Hui is a Lecturer in Chinese Studies in the School of Languages and Cultures at the Victoria University of Wellington.