China has come to realize that economic and military power isn’t enough to become a global power, for this it needs to attract others through soft power. As a result it has started investing billions of dollars annually to promote its soft image globally.
Taking lessons from the BJP government who is selling India’s soft power not only through Bollywood but also recently through its international yoga day.
Culture is a major source of soft power. Countries like USA, India, France have ample amount of this and work on sustaining it. Finally, China is coming to understand this. It has started investing in its broadcasting industry, newspapers, Shin-won, CCTV and other global media outlets.
However, soft power can only be exercised easily where people are not wary of you. So for China, it is easier to exercise soft power in Africa and Latin America as compared to Taiwan, Vietnam and other neighbors in East Asia where it is viewed as a threat.
Joseph Nye is an American political scientist and a founder of the international relations theory of Neo-liberalism. He pioneered the theory of soft power. or “smart power” which was the popular phrase used by members of the Clinton Administration, and more recently the Obama Administration. He is the former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he currently holds the position of University Distinguished Service Professor.