1st Edition

Soft Power With Chinese Characteristics China’s Campaign for Hearts and Minds

Edited By Ying Zhu, Kingsley Edney, Stanley Rosen Copyright 2020
    318 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    318 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the Chinese Communist Party’s attempts to improve China’s image around the world, thereby increasing its "soft power." This soft, attractive form of power is crucial if China is to avoid provoking an international backlash against its growing military and economic might.

    The volume focuses on the period since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, and is global in scope, examining the impact of Chinese policies from Hong Kong and Taiwan to Africa and South America. The book explains debates over soft power within China and delves into case studies of important policy areas for China’s global image campaign, such as film, news media and the Confucius Institutes. The most comprehensive work of its kind, the volume presents a picture of a Chinese leadership that has access to vast material resources and growing global influence but often struggles to convert these resources into genuine international affection.

    With a foreword by Joseph Nye, Soft Power With Chinese Characteristics will be invaluable to students and scholars of Chinese politics and Chinese media, as well as international relations and world politics more generally.

    List of tables and figures

    List of contributors



    Joseph Nye


    Kingsley Edney, Stanley Rosen and Ying Zhu

    PART 1

    Debating China’s soft power strategy

    1 Projection of China’s soft power in the new century: reconstruction of the traditional Chinese world order

    Suisheng Zhao

    2 The end of China’s rise: consequences for PRC debates on soft power

    Daniel C. Lynch

    3 Ironies of soft power projection: the United States and China in the age of Donald Trump and Xi Jinping

    Stanley Rosen

    4 Vessels of soft power going out to sea: Chinese diasporic media and the politics of allegiance

    Wanning Sun

    5 The battle of images: cultural diplomacy and Sino–Hollywood negotiation

    Ying Zhu

    6 Branding as soft power: brand culture, nation branding and the 2008 Beijing Olympics

    Janet Borgerson, Jonathan Schroeder and Zhiyan Wu

    7 A decade of wielding soft power through Confucius Institutes: some interim results

    Falk Hartig

    PART 2

    China’s global soft power under Xi Jinping

    8 The dilemma of China’s soft power in Europe

    Zhan Zhang

    9 The evolution of Chinese soft power in the Americas

    R. Evan Ellis

    10 The Sino–African relationship: an intense and long embrace

    Antonio Fiori and Stanley Rosen

    11 Chinese soft power in Japan and South Korea

    Gilbert Rozman

    12 China’s soft power over Taiwan

    Dalton Lin and Yun-han Chu

    13 Familiarity breeds contempt: China’s growing “soft power deficit” in Hong Kong

    David Zweig

    14 How East Asians view a rising China

    Yun-han Chu, Min-hua Huang and Jie Lu



    Kingsley Edney is lecturer in Politics and International Relations of China at the University of Leeds, UK. He is the author of The Globalization of Chinese Propaganda: International Power and Domestic Political Cohesion (2014) and co-author of Environmental Pollution and the Media: Political Discourses of Risk and Responsibility in Australia, China and Japan (Routledge, 2017).

    Stanley Rosen is Professor of Political Science at USC at the University of Southern California, USA. His publications include Chinese Politics: State, Society and the Market (2010, co-edited with Peter Hays Gries) and Art, Politics and Commerce in Chinese Cinema (2010, co-edited with Ying Zhu).

    Ying Zhu is Professor of Cinema Studies at the City University of New York, USA, and Director of the Center for Film and Moving Image Research at Hong Kong Baptist University. Her recent publications include Two Billion Eyes: The Story of China Central Television (2013) and Television in Post-Reform China: Serial Drama, Confucian Leadership and the Global Television Market (2008).

    "Provides astute analyses of the Chinese government’s efforts to employ soft power as a component of national strategy, alongside coercive actions that undermine the efficacy of these efforts."

    Professor June Teufel Dreyer, University of Miami

    "This is the book on the issue of China and soft power that scholars in the field have been waiting for – and one specialists in other areas can benefit from greatly as well. Particularly appealing is how truly global and robustly interdisciplinary it is. The editors did a great job of lining up contributors from four continents and many fields and subfields of the humanities and social sciences, and then shaping the chapters into a nicely coherent set of works that speak to rather than past one another."

    Professor Jeffrey Wasserstrom, co-author of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know