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SOFT POWER AND THE RISE OF CHINA:

AN ASSESSMENT OF CHINAS SOFT POWER IN ITS MODERNIZATION PROCESS

By Sheng Ding

A dissertation submitted to the

Graduate School-Newark

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

in partial fulfillment of requirements

for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Graduate Program in Global Affairs

Written under the direction of

Professor Rey Koslowski

and approved by

K4

Y iK L .ru 3o Q

Newark, New Jersey

May 2006

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Copyright 2006 by
Ding, Sheng

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ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS

Soft Power and the Rise of China:


An Assessment of Chinas Soft Power in its Modernization Process

By Sheng Ding

Thesis Director: Professor Rey Koslowski

This research focuses on two closely related subjects: the theoretical discussion of

soft power and its assessment, and an assessment of Chinas soft power in its

modernization process. First, I explored Nyes theory of soft power by examining this

concept from three traditional approaches to the analysis of national power - state attributes,

relations among states, and the structure of the international system. After reviewing two

traditional power assessment models - structuralist model and behaviorist model, I

developed a specific power conversion model, which explains how soft power works at

three levels - foreign countrys political elites, interest groups, and the general public. I

also discussed the relationship between hard power and soft power.

In the beginning o f assessing Chinas soft power, I discussed Chinese views of soft

power, self-perception and global strategy as it pertains to the rise of China. My case study

provided an analysis o f the status of Chinas soft power in its modernization process by

employing both a structuralist model and a behaviorist model. The structuralist model

included three key components of soft power resources - cultural attractiveness, political

values and domestic policies, and the substance and style of foreign policy. The

behaviorist model focused on the impacts of Chinas soft power developments on its efforts

of national image building and Chinas ability of wielding soft power.

ii

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Based on my research, I found that China has achieved impressive gains in its

overall level o f soft power. Its successful development model has won global admiration

while aiding in the development of a new affinity between China and the rest o f Asia. Its

new diplomacy has led to Chinas more active and responsible participation in

international affairs, which is increasing Chinas agenda setting abilities and improving its

national image. However, further expansion of Chinas soft power is constrained by its

domestic political institutions and the international system of which it is a part. Chinas

selective development of soft power is also responsible for its rampant corruption and

rapidly growing social-economic inequality. More importantly, the rise of China is

occurring at a time when the international system is undergoing a structural transformation,

which inevitably complicates Chinas efforts to project its soft power. I concluded that

China would have a long way to go before it possessed the level of soft power needed to

make it a true global leader.

iii

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PREFACE

This research begins and ends with the question What is soft power? While I do not

expect to answer this question, nor do I anticipate definitive answer in my lifetime, I

believe the attempt to understand the issue is a worthy pursuit. My hope is that this

dissertation will shed at least a small beam of light on the issues surrounding soft power

and the rise o f China in the age of globalization.

I wish to thank all those who have inspired, shaped, and challenged my research over the

past decade including but not limited to: Richard Langhome, Richard W. Wilson, Robert

A. Saunders, Yanzhong Huang, Alexander J. Motyl, Mary Segers, Michelle E. Fino,

William T. Laventhal, Micky Hingorani, and, very special thank you to Rey Koslowski and

Yale H. Ferguson.

None of this would have been possible without the love and support o f my wife, Hongyan

Yuan, and my family who live in Yangzhou, China.

iv

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It is better to attack the enemys mind than to attack his fortified cities.
- Sun Zi

Weapons are an important factor in war, but not the decisive factor; it is people, not
things that are decisive. The contest o f strength is not only a contest of military and
economic power, but also a contest o f human power and morale.
- Mao Zedong

China should adhere to the development road of peaceful rise, persist in getting along
friendly with various countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful
Coexistence, actively conduct exchanges and cooperation with other countries based on
equality and mutual benefits and make contribution to the lofty cause of peace and
development o f mankind.
- Hu Jingtao

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Table of Contents

Chapter I Introduction......................................................................................................... 1
Status Quo Power and Rising (Revisionist) Power
Rise of China and the China Threat
Methods, Sources, and Structure

Part I Conceptualization and Assessment of Soft Power

Chapter II Conceptualization of Soft Power.................................................................... 23


Traditional Approaches to the Conceptualization o f Power
Review o f Nyes Theory of Soft Power
Beyond Nyes Theory o f Soft Power

Chapter III Assessment of Soft Power.............................................................................. 51


Structuralist Model o f Power Assessment
Behaviorist Model o f Power Assessment
Soft Power Conversion Model
Relationship between Soft Power and Hard Power

Chapter IV Chinese Views of Soft Power and the Rise of China...................................86


Views o f Soft Power in China
Chinas Self-perception of its Rise
Chinas Global Strategy in its Rising Process

Part II An Assessment of Chinas Soft Power Using a Structuralist Model

Chapter V Assessment of Chinas Cultural Soft Power................................................ 106


Historical Analysis o f Ancient Chinas Cultural Attractiveness
Assessment o f Chinas Cultural Soft Power in its Modernization Process

Chapter VI Assessment of Chinas Political Soft Power............................................... 135


Historical Analysis o f Chinas Ancient Political Attractiveness
Assessment of Chinas Political Soft Power in its Modernization Process

Chapter VII Assessment of Chinas Soft Power in Foreign Policy..............................159

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Historical Analysis o f Ancient Chinese Foreign Policys Attractiveness
Assessment of Chinas Soft Power of Foreign Policy in its Modernization Process

Part III An Assessment of Chinas Soft Power Using a Behaviorist Model

Chapter VIII Assessing Chinas Soft Power in its National Image Building..............183
Historical Review o f Chinas National Image from Tang to Mao
Assessment o f Chinas Soft Powers Effects on National Image Building

Chapter IX Assessing Chinas Ability to Wield Soft Power.........................................211


Three Propositions Regarding Chinas Use of Soft Power
China in Neighboring Asian States: From Fear to Fever
China in the Distant Developing World: Trading its Way for Power
China in the Western Liberal Democracies: A Tough Sell

Chapter X Conclusions..................................................................................................... 233

Appendix I List of China Dynasties.............................................................................. 242

Appendix II Chinas Projected Images and American Perception........................... 243

Bibliography...................................................................................................................... 246

Vita......................................................................................................................................260

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List of Figures and Tables

Figures Page

Figure 2.1 Forms o f Behavior between Hard Power and Soft Power................................. 46
Figure 3.1 Behavior Depicted on Timelines..........................................................................66
Figure 3.2 Behavior Depicted on Serial Continuum.............................................................66
Figure 3.3-3.8 Indices for Hypothetical Instrumental Goals............................................... 71
Figure 3.9 Power Conversion Model in Structural Approach............................................. 76
Figure 3.10 From Soft Power Resources to Desired Policy Outcomes.............................. 79
Figure 5.1 Olympic Game Gold Medal Count: US vs. China........................................... 120
Figure 5.2 Chinas Inbound Tourists................................................................................... 123
Figure 7.1 Chinas 10 Memberships in Comparison.......................................................... 177
Figure 8.1 American Perception o f China 1967-1989........................................................199
Figure 8.2 American Perception of China 1989-2004........................................................201
Figure 9.1 Chinese Influences in the World....................................................................... 218
Figure 9.2 China Becoming More Militant.........................................................................218
Figure 9.3 Views o f China in Liberal Democracies vs. Middle East............................... 229

Tables Page

Table 3.1: Attraction in Soft Power Conversion Model................................................... 80


Table 5.1: The Perceptions o f China in Major Neighboring Countries............................ 130
Table 5.2: The Perceptions of China in Major European Countries..................................131
Table 6.1 Chinas Economic Prowess................................................................................. 146
Table 6.2 Judgments o f Chinese Leading Cadres on Existing Problems......................... 153
Table 7.1 Chinas Compliance with International Norms..................................................175
Table 8.1 American Opinions o f China 1967-1989........................................................... 192
Table 8.2 Chinas Projected Image and American Perceptions........................................ 195

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Chapter I Introduction

The history o f world politics is commonly told as a narrative of the rise and decline of

different countries and regions. The relative strengths of the leading nations in world

affairs have never remained constant, principally due to the uneven growth rate of different

societies and technological and organizational breakthroughs which give certain societies

advantages over others (Kennedy 1987: 15-16). With the tempo of these power shifts

ranging from turbulent and dramatic to smooth and barely perceptible, the international

pecking order of states is constantly in flux. Zbigniew Brzezinski states that since 1880,

in a comparative ranking o f world powers (cumulatively based on their economic strength,

military budgets and assets, population, etc.), the top five slots at sequential twenty-year

intervals have been shared by just seven states: the United States, the United Kingdom,

Germany, France, Russia, Japan, and China (Brzezinski 2004: 3).1

Great power transitions have never been easy, but it is better when they happen

slowly and, in any event, not in an atmosphere of general crisis. Classical international

relations theories tell us that a states interests are shaped primarily by its power, which is

usually measured in terms o f material resources and political influence. Specifically, as

Martin Wight has pointed out: it is the nature of powers to expand. The energies of their

members radiate culturally, economically and politically, and unless there are strong

1According to Brzezinski, the international pecking order at the beginning of the 20th
century included, sequentially, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and the
United States, all relatively closely bunched; in the middle of 20th century, the post-
WWII world lead had shifted to the United States and the Soviet Union, with Japan and
the United Kingdom remaining much further back; and then at the beginning of the 21st
century, the United States was the only superpower alone at the top, followed far behind
by China, Germany, Japan and Russia.

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obstacles these tendencies will be summed up in territorial growth (Wight 1978: 144). In
j

this view, states expand when they perceive relative increases in state power and when

changes in the relative costs and benefits of expansion make it profitable for them to do so.

According to Robert Gilpin, a state will attempt to change the international system only if it

has some relative advantage over other states, or more simply put, if the balance of power

in the system is to its advantage (Gilpin 1981: 54).

Status Quo Power and Rising (Revisionist) Power

The United States is currently the worlds only military and economic superpower. It also

remains the worlds mightiest country in terms of what Joseph Nye defines as soft power,

however the US is not nearly as dominant in this power sector as in the military and

economic domains (Nye 2004a: 97). The trends of the information age and the spread of

democratization should benefit American military, economic and soft power in the future,

but these developments will also benefit other countries that are able to adapt to these new

conditions. Some theorists argue that no matter how power is measured, an equal power

distribution among major states has been relatively rare in history, and efforts to maintain a

balance o f power have often led to war (Nye 1990b). Conversely, inequality of power has

often fostered peace and stability as there is little or no advantage to a weak state in

2 Fareed R. Zakaria makes an important distinction between national and state power.
According to him, state power, for the statesman, must be usable and hence involves
not the nations power but instead the national governments power. ... (state power)
can be defined as the central governments ability to extract resources from society and
the ease with which central decision-makers can implement their preferences. See
Zakaria, From Wealth to Power, 7. In order to avoid confusion, this dissertation will use
the term state power in place of national power, to define the ability o f one state to
influence or control other states.

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declaring war on a dominant power. For example, Robert Cox argues that both the United
th tH
Kingdom in the 19 century and the US in the 20 century ensured an international system

o f relative peace and security due to their abilities to obtain a broad measure of consent on

general principles (Cox 1987). Generally speaking, periods of unequal power distribution

can produce stability. However, if rising powers chafe at the international system imposed

by the hegemon, they may build up their own capabilities or form an alliance to challenge

the status quo power. This leads to the following two important questions: (1) Who are the

rising powers that may challenge the status quo power? and (2) Why are rising powers

regarded as threats (revisionist powers) by status quo powers?

In order to answer these questions, it is necessary to define status quo power and

rising or revisionist power. Hans J. Morgenthaus discussion of power politics remains the

standard reference in international relations theory.

All politics, domestic and international, reveal three basic patterns; that is, all
political phenomena can be reduced to one of three basic types.. .to keep power, to
increase power, or to demonstrate power. To these three typical patterns of politics,
three typical international policies correspond. A nation whose foreign policy tends
toward keeping power o f the status quo. A nation whose foreign policy aims at
acquiring more power than it actually has, through a reversal of existing power
relations - whose foreign policy, in other words, seeks a favorable change in power
status - purses a policy o f imperialism. A nation whose foreign policy seeks to
demonstrate the power it has, either for the purpose of maintaining or increasing it,
pursuing a policy o f prestige. (Morgenthau 1985: 52-53)

According to Morgenthau, the policy of the status quo aims to maintain the

distribution o f power in its favor which exists at that particular moment in history, and is

opposed to any revision of the power relations among two or more nations. For instance,

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A is reduced from a first rate to a second rate power and B is raised to the eminent position

A formerly held (Morgenthau 1985: 53).3

Morgenthaus definition emphasizes simple capabilities, such as a change in the

distribution of power, which is presumably followed by a change of international rules.

Power transition theorists such as A.F.K. Organski and Jacek Kugler focus on states

intentions to redraft these international rules that govern relations between states. They

defined status quo powers as those that have participated in designing the rules of the game

and thus stand to benefit most from them. They went on to argue that only rising states that

want to change the rules and thus cause a redistribution of power to the non-status quo

powers. Organski and Kugler conclude that any rising state is by definition a revisionist

power because it expresses a general dissatisfaction with its position in the system and

seeks a new place for itself in international society commensurate with its own increasing

national power (Organski and Kugler 1980:19,20,23). The tension between two

definitions offers more nuances about a typology of revisionist and status quo states that

allows for some variation in degree. Basically, revisionist states value what they covet

more than what they currently possess.. .they will employ military force to change the

status quo and to extend their values (Schweller 1994: 105).4 Morgenthau has listed the

two most popular misconceptions regarding revisionist powers as follows: (1) not every

3 Morgenthau also gave his criteria for determining whether a state has an imperialist
foreign policy: In truth, military imperialism seeks military conquest; economic
imperialism, economic exploitation o f other peoples; cultural imperialism, the
displacement of one culture over another.. .that end is always the overthrow of the status
quo; that is, the reversal o f the power relations between the imperialist nation and its
prospective victims. See Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations, 71-72.

4 According to Schweller, China would not be regarded as a revisionist state if it used


economic development as a way of increasing its political influence in the Asia-Pacific
region.

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foreign policy aimed at an increase in the power of a nation is necessarily a manifestation

o f revisionism; and (2) not every foreign policy aimed at the preservation of an empire that

already exists is revisionism (Morgenthau 1985: 59).

After Morgenthau, Robert Gilpin, also a member o f the realist school, offers the

most precise discussion of the criteria to define the policy orientations of revisionist and

status quo powers (Johnston 2003). He breaks down the rules of the game into components

that are easier to operationalize: the distribution of power, the hierarchy of prestige, and the

rights and rules that govern or at least influence interactions among states. According to

Gilpin, it will be justifiable to determine whether a state pursues a fundamentally status quo

or revisionist foreign policy if one asks the following three questions: (1) Will a state

government support and follow the existing rules in international affairs such as interstate

diplomacy, regional security institutions, and international economic institutions? (2) Are

state leaders satisfied with the existing distribution o f power globally or regionally? and (3)

How do they speak and act regarding the hierarchy of prestige (Gilpin 1981: 23-24)? In

Gilpins view, revisionist states seek to fundamentally alter these three components.

A majority o f realists believe that a rising power poses an inherent threat to status

quo power, as it is bound to expand its national interests and foreign influence. Realists

predict that as rising powers grow wealthier and more powerful they not only intend to seek

greater world-wide political influence (through control over greater territory, more

influence over the behavior of other states, and a more dominant position in the world

economy), but are also more capable of expanding their interests. If necessary, rising

powers also possess the resources to wage large-scale, hegemonic wars to drastically revise

or overthrow the established order (Gilpin 1981: 23-24). Simply put, the stronger and

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richer a rising power becomes, the more influence it will want and the more willing and

able it will be to fight to further its interests.

Some theorists further point out that the expansion of rising powers is a product not

only of internal pressure, but also of threats and opportunities from the external

environment (Schweller 1999: 3). The weakness of surrounding states makes the rising

power feels compelled to fill the power vacuum with its own power. The dangers of not

expanding into the power vacuum are that, on the one hand, other powerful states will not

be equally restrained from doing so; on the other hand, because weakness implies political

instability, the greater power must fill the power vacuum to prevent regional instability

from spilling across its own borders. A buffer state that lacks internal strength and stability

will gravitate, irrespective of its own wishes, away from a declining power towards an

expanding power. It is doubly dangerous for a great power to appear weak and irresolute

by resisting the temptation to expand when the opportunity presents itself (Wolfers quoted

in Schweller 1999: 3).

Based on the above arguments it can be concluded that within the realist theoretical

framework rising powers aim to change international structure, control the behavior of

other states, and influence the world economy to their own advantage. If necessary,

confident states such as Germany and Japan in the Second World War (WWII), even try to

wage large-scale, hegemonic wars to overthrow the established order or occupy more

territory commensurate with their new national power resources.

While many accept the above notion of rising-revisionist power dynamics, other

international relations theorists have consistently criticized the realist view o f rising power.

Many of them argue that international institutions, international regimes and international

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law mitigate state behavior, and feel that states have more to gain through cooperation than

competition and thus have an incentive to cooperate (Keohane and Nye 1977; Keohane

1984; Axelrod and Keohane 1993; Keohane and Martin 1995; et alia). Therefore,

excluding the realist ways o f coercion and outright bullying, many believe that there is a

new approach to power and power politics.5 The work of Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye

form the core of an approach that has been variously labeled the school of neo-liberalism,

neo-liberal institutionalism, or institutionalism in international relations theory. Counter to

the neo-realists, Keohane and others have sought to show that cooperation is possible even

under anarchy, owing to the role of institutions and information. By seeking to graft neo

liberal concepts such as interdependence onto realist insights on power, these scholars

argue that under certain circumstances governments may choose to participate in

cooperative international arrangements that are much to their dislike. For institutionalists,

cooperation in international relations is not only possible, but actually occurs in most

instances. Generally speaking, neo-liberal institutionalism that builds on liberal tradition

focuses on mutual benefits to be gained in international relations through interdependence

and reciprocity.

Based on this theoretic framework, rising powers are not by their very nature

revisionist powers. They are often likely to choose cooperation, as it is in their interest to

do so. Rising powers can learn to use institutions to pursue mutual gains and to reduce the

likelihood of their own malfeasance or dangerous manipulation of other states. They do

5 The work o f Keohane and Nye formed the core of an approach that has been variously
labeled the school o f neo-liberalism, neoliberal institutionalism, or institutionalism in
international relations theory.. .Using assumptions not unlike those of neorealists,
Keohane and others sought to show that cooperation was possible even under anarchy
owing to the role o f institutions and information. See Ferguson and Mansbach, The
Elusive Quest Continues, 168.

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not have to transform the status quo through revolution and rapid change; however, they

can realize the reformation of the status quo through an evolutionary process of incremental

changes. Through reciprocity, international security can be improved by arms control

agreements and peacekeeping missions; cooperation can be easily established in

international trade to achieve greater mutual benefits. For rising powers, gaining wealth in

absolute terms is more important than gaining power relative to other countries. The

differences between realist and institutionalist approaches to interpret the rising powers

intention reflect their respective understanding of rationality as seeking to maximize its

own short-term self-interest and as seeing to share in long-term collective benefits.

Regarding the transition of power resources, other international relations theorists

have argued, to varying degrees, that the sources of power are moving away form the

emphasis on military force and conquest that marked earlier eras. Kenneth N. Waltz

describes power politics in the bipolar world as .. .competition becomes more

comprehensive as well as more widely extended. Not only just military preparation but also

economic growth and technological development become matters of intense and constant

concern... (Waltz 1979: 172). Gilpin stresses that, besides a states military, economic

and technical capabilities, there are other important factors (which are, however, very

difficult to measure) that help to influence political events, such as public morale or the

quality of political leadership. He uses the term prestige to sum up these factors (Gilpin

1981: 13). Richard Rosecrance argues that since 1945, the world has been poised to

become a territorial system composed o f states that view power not only in terms of land

mass, but also as a trading system that can dramatically change traditional views of self-

sufficiency (Rosecrance 1986: 16, 160). Postmodernism even looks for ways in which

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power is subsumed in the national psyche through language, law, social practice and

customs (Ferguson, Mansbach, Rosenau, et alia).

Nye investigates powers immaterial resources in more detail than any other

international relations theorist. Although he is a convinced neo-liberalist, his thoughts on

power and power politics reveal close affinities with realism. He distinguishes between

command or hard power, and co-optive or soft power. Nye criticizes traditional

efforts to define power, where much o f the analyses and predictions rest upon the military

and strategic aspects o f power (hard power) and fail to see power in terms o f a countrys

ability to obtain desired outcomes in world politics without tangible threats or payoffs (soft

power). Yet in an era o f globalization and information revolution, soft sources of power

such as cultural attractiveness, political values, and foreign policies are increasingly

becoming important components of great power (Nye 2002a: 9). Therefore, in defining

status quo power and rising or revisionist power in the current world, factors such as

technology, education, and economic growth are becoming more important, whereas

geography, population, and raw materials are becoming less important. The information

revolution is also affecting power measured in terms of resources rather than behavior. In

the 21st century, Nye claims, information technology, broadly defined, is likely to be the

most important power resource (Keohane and Nye 1998: 81-94). Generally, power is

becoming less tangible and less coercive among advanced countries. As more and more

developing countries begin to modernization and leap into the global information age, the

role of soft power will become a more important issue in international relations research.

Since soft power resources have become an increasingly important factor in

estimating a countrys power, it is necessary to analyze power implications from a new

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perspective - intangible power resources - in the rising powers ascending process.

However, since its inception, Nyes soft power theory has primarily been associated with

the case o f the US, the only status quo power in the current world. To what extent can this

theory be applied to the other countries, especially rising powers? In the subsequent pages,

this article attempts to answer this question through a case study o f Chinas ascendancy. I

will make theoretical and empirical connections between the concept of soft power and a

case study of Chinas current ascendancy. What are the Chinese views of soft power? Will

they effect Chinas policy orientation in its rising process?

Rise of China and the China Threat

One of the most prominent elements of post-Cold War international relations is the

increasing importance o f China in both economic and strategic outcomes at the global and

regional levels, and Chinas role in individual states long-term considerations of their

national interests. Many view China as the likeliest of the current candidates to attain

status quo power in the future. As was the case with the United States in the second half of
th f\
the 19 century, Chinas vast territory and huge population have enabled it to be seen as a

potential superpower for decades. During the Cold War, China was unable to realize great

power status due to the CCPs failure to promote the domestic development necessary for

comprehensive economic and military advances (Gaver 1993; Robinson and Shambaugh

6 In his book From Wealth to Power, Zakaria asks if rich nations routinely become great
powers, then how we explain the strange inactivity of the United States in the late 19th
century. By 1885, the U.S. was the richest country in the world. And yet, by all military,
political, and diplomatic measures, it was a minor power. See Zakaria, From Wealth to
Power.

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1994). China only began to realize its potential to attain great power when the country

embarked on an ambitious program of economic reform and modernization in the late

1970s. This program has led to profound and extensive changes in Chinas politics,

economy, society and culture.

Although China had already become an important actor in international politics in

the 1980s, especially in US-USSR-China triangle relations, no one predicted that China

would become the next superpower.7 In the wake of the Tiananmen crackdown and the

collapse o f the communist regimes in the former Eastern Bloc, many even questioned

whether Chinas communist government would survive the trend of global democratization

in the post-Cold War world. Some further argued that China was not in ascendancy and

would not rise given the myriad economic and social problems complicating its transition

from a planned economy to a market economy. Since the mid-1990s, foreign scholars,

business leaders and government officials alike have paid increased attention as China

successfully transitioned from a centrally planned economy to a market economy.

However, they argued increasingly that China had not sufficiently demonstrated that it

would play by international rules, though its economy has been gradually integrated into

the world economy system. In the 1990s, the rise of China had been mostly influenced

by the tone o f China threat. Richard Bernstein and Ross H. Munro described an

inevitable conflict between an aggressive and expansionist China that views itself as the

rightful arbiter of power in Asia and a naive and unprepared US that has already entered

7 Since 1989, U.S. China policy lost its bipartisan consensus, existent since President
Richard Nixons visit to China in 1972, and consequently has been beset by divisions on
the American public image o f China among organized social interest groups, the White
House, and Congress.

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three wars in the last half century to prevent any single countrys domination of Asia

(Berstein and Munro 1997). Denny Roy has suggested that an economically strong China

will act like a major power: bolder, more demanding, and less likely to co-operate with

major powers in the region (Roy 1994: 149-168). Only a few scholars, such as Andrew J.

Nathan and Robert S. Ross, argued that China would not necessarily become a threat

(Nathan and Ross 1997).

At the approach o f the 21st century, Chinas rapid economic development and

integration into the international system had increasingly important implications on the

structure o f the international system and patterns of international relations. Extrapolating

from recent trends, most Western China observers have concluded that China will become

a superpower of unprecedented proportions in the first half of 21st century (Brown, Cote

and Miller 2000; Johnston and Ross 1999; Economy and Oksenberg 1999; Murray 1998).

Lee Kuan Yew, former Premier o f Singapore, has stated that Its not possible to pretend

that (China) is just another big player.. .this is the biggest player in the history of man

(Lee quoted in Huntington 1996: 231). But some analysts become more skeptical about the

extent o f the increase in Chinas power. Gerald Segal, for example, argues that Chinas

economic growth is overstated by misleading statistics. Segal believes that China is

actually a second-rank middle power ... (that) should be regarded as a theoretical power -

a country that has promised to deliver for much of the last 150 years but has consistently

disappointed (Segal 1999). Some even argue that China is a threat and will become a

hegemonic power in East Asia (Mosher 2000). Bill Gertz even offered a strategy for

countering the China threat (Gertz 2000).

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Debates on the implications of Chinas rise have gradually become focused on what

the growth of Chinese power implies for the peace and stability of the international system.

As stated earlier, some power transition and hegemonic transition theories argue that the

rise of a new great power often leads to war, either because the rising power uses force to

change the international system to suit its interests or because the existing leading power

launches a preventive war to preserve its position while it still has the capabilities to do so.

From this theoretic perspective, due to the authoritarian nature of the Chinese government,

China as a rising power will become a revisionist power and be dissatisfied with the US-

dominated international order. Some scholars worry that it is Beijings top diplomatic

objective to gain external acceptance that will prop up the regime, not to expand Chinese

national interests or exercise power abroad. This profound divorce of the regimes political

interest from the nations interest could easily turn Beijing into a typical rising challenger

or even an imperialist power if it feels secure and powerful enough. Supporters even imply

that conflict - and perhaps war - is likely to take place between China and the world status

quo power (the US), or another regional power (Japan). Many question whether a

dictatorial, nationalistic, and dissatisfied China would adhere to regional and international

norms, and integrate itself into the existing global system. In fact, the majority of

Americans see China as a dangerous rising power or revisionist power rather than a reliable

partner in the international system. Recent consecutive polls by major American media

organizations show that half the American public believes that China will pose the biggest

challenge to the United States world power status in the future. Americans generally agree

with Chinas projected image of itself as a major power, but have never seen China as a

peace-loving country and seldom see it as an international cooperator (Wang 2004).

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Other international relations theorists argue that the economically advanced world

is the site of complex interdependence among states and societies, which produces

interests that foster cooperation. From this perspective, some foreign policy scholars and

practitioners who oppose the realist theory on power transition argue that China is

becoming increasingly socialized and globalized, though mainly in the sphere of economic

norms and cultural exchange. Supporters of this argument point to how Chinas economic

reform and integration into the capitalist world economy have engineered a break in

Beijings foreign policy outlook, from Maoist revolutionary diplomacy bent on

undermining the international system to a prevailing pragmatist paradigm seeking to take

advantage o f the opportunities provided by the capitalist economic system (Deng and

Wang 1999: 5).

By applying Gilpins three questions to determine whether a state pursues a

revisionist foreign policy to the China case, we can find the following preliminary answers:

Within the current circumstances, 1) China has become ever more adherent to international

rules and norms. For example, China not only has refrained from exercising its veto power

in the United Nations Security Council, but has ratified a number o f major human rights

instruments; 2) Chinese leaders have never publicly chafed at the constraints placed on

them nor have they argued during the last two decades that they must change the rules of

the international system before the international system changes them; and 3) China has

always followed an independent and pragmatic foreign policy. Compared to the revisionist

powers in modem history, Chinas conduct and experience do not quite qualify it for

revisionism. Chinas emergence as the most powerful state in the Far East has been

accompanied with more stability than realist power transition theorists believed possible.

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The reality is that China has provided credible information about its capabilities and

intentions to its East Asian neighbors; consequently, East Asian states tend to believe

Chinas claims, and hence seek to benefit from Chinas rise (Kang 2005: 548-551).

Why are there contradictions between perception and reality? The perceptual

characterization generally hews to various realist insights into why rising powers are

almost invariably interested in challenging extant institutions, norms, and power

distributions. That is, the argument falls generally within a power-transition version of

realism where a static set of interests - the desire to establish a great powers sphere of

influence - interact with changing Chinese relative capabilities to give China more

opportunities to challenge US power. This line of argument is insufficiently attentive to the

analytic ambiguities in the terms status quo and revisionism as used in international

relations theory and practice (Johnston 2003: 5-56). Moreover, this hypothesis fails to

examine both the status quo elements in Chinas developments of national power over the

last couple of decades and the problematic status of the empirical evidence used to make

claims about Chinas revisionism. At this juncture, it is unclear whether China should be

defined as a revisionist or non-status quo state.

This dissertation will not focus on exploring to what extent China has already, or

will, become a status quo power or revisionist power. If China cannot accurately or

completely be defined as a revisionist state on the basis of simple facts, why has China

always been regarded as a threat to the status quo power - the United States - and to some

of its neighboring countries? As concluded above, much of the analysis and predictions

about rising power rests upon hard power analysis - the conclusion that China is a threat -

is also not based on a complete analysis of Chinas national power. In exploring the

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implications o f rising China, much of the analysis and predictions rests upon Chinas

military buildup and economic development. It fails to see Chinas development of soft

power. In fact, the Chinese leadership views soft power as indispensable in its attempt to

increase its comprehensive national strength (zonghe guoli) and regain its status as a

leading world power.

The basic assumption of this dissertation is that China is steadily emerging as a

status quo power for this century. The key question is how Chinas soft power

development influences its policy orientation as it undergoes its modernization process.

Through assessing the soft power in China - a most typical case in the rising powers, it will

help find out the implications of soft power for a countrys rising process.

Methods, Sources, and Structure

This dissertation will employ a method that Harry Eckstein described as the crucial-case

study. The essence o f this method is to use a case that best meets the conditions under

which a theory must hold. Such a case either validates or refutes the theory. In an ideal

crucial case, Eckstein wrote, it must be extremely difficult, or clearly petulant, to dismiss

any finding contrary to the theory as simply deviant ... and equally difficult to hold that

any finding confirming the theory might just as well express quite different regularities

(Eckstein 1975: 118). Because must-fit cases in the purest sense exist only in the

controlled conditions o f laboratory experiments in the natural sciences, social science

scholars must focus on most likely or least-likely cases - cases that ought, or ought

not, to invalidate or confirm theories if any cases can be expected to do so (Eckstein 1975:

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119). For this dissertation, the approach of the crucial-case study was chosen over that of

the multiple-case study for three reasons.

The first is that China is the most likely case, or a country with the greatest

potentials, to represent a rising power to challenge the status quo power in the current

world. It is noteworthy that since 1880, in a comparative ranking of world powers

(cumulatively based on their economic strength, military budgets and assets, population,

etc.), the top five slots at sequential twenty-year intervals have been shared by just seven

states: the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, and China

(Brzezinski 2004: 3). Without any doubt, the US is the status quo power in the current

world.8 The former major European powers - Great Britain, Germany, and France - are

continuously in relative decline. Also, in the next two decades, it is quite unlikely that the

European Union will become sufficiently united politically to muster the popular will to

compete with the US. Russia is no longer an imperial power, and its central challenge is to

recover socio-economically lest it lose its far eastern territories to China in the future.

Japans population is aging and its economy has slowed; the conventional wisdom of the

1980s that Japan is destined to be the next status quo power now bears the ring of historical

irony. But China, if it succeeds in maintaining high rates of economic growth and retains

its internal political stability, will have a greater chance to promoting itself from a regional

power to a global status quo power. Chinas rapid economic development, large

population, traditional culture, strategic position, huge domestic market, and enhanced

international status have made Chinas potential superpower. The rise of China plays a key

8 According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, only the United States, however, unambiguously


earned inclusion among the top five in every one of the twenty-year intervals, and the gap
in the year 2000 between the top-ranked United States and the rest was vastly wider than
ever before. See Brzezinski The Choice, 3.

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factor for the world peace and order in the 21st century, the Oriental-Occidental cultural

relationship, the North-South economic order and Sino-US relationships (Murray 1998).

The second reason the crucial-case study was chosen for this dissertation relates to

theory building. A theory is a rule that seeks to explain a pattern of observed regularity. It

can be a rule that explains why a set of events can be plotted on a specific curve on a graph,

that describes the relations among variables, or that explains sequences, such as casual

paths or historical developments. As Eckstein wrote, all that is required o f theory in the

generic sense is that some unknown be strictly deducible from the posited regularities

(Eckstein 1975: 89). Theory building is the process of formulating questions about

observed phenomena, stating hypotheses about the rules governing them, and developing

tests that discern the validity o f those rules. In the social sciences, scholars have moved

toward greater reliance on the multiple-case approach on the grounds that the risk of bias in

the data diminishes by expanding the number of cases. But a crucial case can also

contribute to theory building. If a theory fails a crucial case, it is discredited, prompting a

search for new theories. If such a case confirms a theory - and if the results cannot be

attributed to another potential explanation - it gains credibility. This is not to say that

conducting additional case studies would be undesirable. But at the same time it should be

noted that in explorations o f broad-gauged theories - like those on power - adding two or

three cases would not constitute a representative sample that would thereby increase the

confidence interval of the findings to 95 percent (Eckstein 1975: 123-132).

Thirdly, the choice between the single- and multiple-case approaches is not between

a right and a wrong method but rather is a tradeoff of depth for range. The crucial-case

approach will allow this dissertation to delve much more deeply into the details of the case

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than would be possible if several cases were treated. This is particularly true because the

theories on power necessarily operate on the macro-level and therefore require more wide-

ranging documentation than a comparative theory of a narrow issue such as, for example,

public opinions toward a particular global issue in two countries.

Two traditional models of power analysis in the field of international relations - a

structuralist model and a behaviorist model - will be reviewed in my dissertation. They

will be used as a base for a coherent and rational discussion on how to assess a countrys

soft power. For each o f the three specific components of soft power resources - culture,

political values and foreign policies - as well as the specific perspectives of national image

building and soft power wielding, discussions are organized on the basis of comparative

strategy. As Charles Tilly concluded, encompassing comparisons has twin advantages:

directly taking account of the interconnectedness of ostensibly separate experiences and

providing a strong incentive to ground analyses explicitly in the historical contexts of

structures and processes they include (Tilly 1984: 147). Three different methods of

comparison have frequently been used in Chinas soft power studies: informal discussion,

formal questioning, and historical comparison. First, the method of informal discussion

concerns a general debate on the nature of the problematic situation. Strategic issues such

as self-perception of the rise o f China and global strategy of the rise of China tend to

be raised within this type o f discussion because the questions asked about present activities

are more in the nature o f the relevant theoretical discussion. Second, the method of formal

questioning is mostly used to inquire about Chinas current soft power in each specific

situation. Relevant questions may include: Will Chinas cultural influence decline or

increase in the global information age? What are the limits of Chinas attractiveness in the

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perspective o f political values? or, To what extent has Chinas current foreign policy

helped establish an international system that will be accepted voluntarily by other

countries? This method of historical comparison focuses on reviewing historical events

according to a conceptual model and aims to provide a scenario which can then be

compared with real-world events. Through this kind of comparison, I am able to make a

more accurate and comparative assessment of Chinas soft power in its modernization

process.

While using these three comparison methods, the assessment o f Chinas soft power

is mainly supported by both English and Chinese sources made available in recent years.

Regarding these data sources, my method of data collecting also employs both empirical

data collection and theoretical analyses from a number of disciplines including sociology,

international relations, cultural anthropology, history, etc. The sources of data for this

dissertation may be categorized as followed:

(1) Primary source document - the substantial literature readings of Chinese

governmental (and CCP) documents, state (and CCP) leaders speeches, and official and

semiofficial publications on relevant topics such as domestic politics, economic

development, foreign strategy, international cultural exchange, etc, from the middle of the

20th century to the present;

(2) Secondary source literature - exhaustive readings of relative literature on power

analysis and China studies, which include scholarly articles and books, media reports, and

various texts in the relevant languages;

(3) Archival research and process tracing - a comprehensive review of the chain of

events relevant to the development of Chinas soft power in three main perspectives -

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cultural attractiveness, political values, and foreign policies - since China began its

modernization program at the end of 1970s;

(4) Field research implemented in two periods. First, I had a three-year working

experience in Chinas leading governmental think-tank - China Institute of Contemporary

International Relations (CICIR), which helped me accumulate relevant knowledge and

data. Second, I put great emphasis on the grassroots level of Chinas modernization

process by monitoring and participating in certain Chinese online communities to learn

common Chinese Netizens real thoughts on globalization, marketization and the

information revolution.

(5) Elite interviewing has been conducted in both China and United States. During

my three summer trips to both Beijing and Shanghai in 2001,2002, and 2003,1 conducted

selected elite interviews with some of Chinas social elites in foreign policy, foreign trade,

international law, national security and information industry. In the United States, semi-

formal interviews were conducted with American Sinologists, business leaders, and United

Nation and NGO officials.

The following dissertation is organized into three major parts. Part I will focus on

exploring the conceptualization of soft power and its assessment models. Firstly, I review

three streams of effort in the theoretical conceptualization of power in international

relations. According to which types of power resources are conceived in them, there are the

attributes of the state, the attributes of relations among states, and the structures of the

international system. I then summarize the arguments of Nyes soft power theory from his

books and journal articles since 1990, and try to extend and improve on the soft power

theory. Regarding the assessment model, I started with the introduction of two traditional

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power assessment models: the structuralist model and the behaviorist model. I then

develop my own model to explain how soft power resources can be converted to the effects

of outcomes. After that, I discuss another problem - how to differentiate the effects of hard

power and soft power. Finally, introduce Chinese views on soft power in government and

academia, and Chinese perceptions of the rise of China. Part II and Part III focus on the

crucial case study. Using both quantitative and qualitative data, the development of

Chinas soft power in the modernization era will be assessed through both a structuralist

model and a behaviorist model. In the Part II, the case study will be conducted on the basis

of Nyes arguments on soft power resources - cultural attractiveness, political values, and

foreign policies. Using a structuralist model, Chinas cultural soft power resources,

political soft power resources and soft power resources in foreign policy will be analyzed

individually. In Part III, using a behaviorist model, the assessment of Chinas soft power

will be implemented through the analyses of soft powers effects on Chinas national

image building and the capability of China to wield its soft power. Through these two

perspectives, I will try to find the probable connections between Chinas soft power

resources and actual foreign policy outcomes. Within all these assessments, historical

comparison will be added to provide historical context to Chinas current soft power.

Finally, I will conclude the assessment of Chinas soft power and will draw some

implications from the China case study in the type of effects soft power has on a rising

powers policy orientation.

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Part I Conceptualization and Assessment of Soft Power

Power is one o f those terms that everyone seems to understand but few can accurately

define, or even measure.9 There is always a consensus among IR theorists about the

importance of power, but generally, the issue of power conversion, from power resources

to effects on outcomes, remains a central puzzle in the field. Also, as an elusive concept,

power has become increasingly difficult to measure as the pace of technologic change has

accelerated (Ferguson and Mansbach 2003: 78). In the chapter II and III, I will explore

three traditional power conceptualization and two traditional power assessment models;

through applying them to Joseph Nyes concept of soft power, I will further develop soft

power theory and set up a soft power conversion model; finally, I will make theoretical and

empirical connections between soft power theory and my case study - the rise of China.

Chapter II Conceptualization of Soft Power

Before starting the discussion about Nyes soft power theory, it is necessary to answer the

most basic question that will be asked in every work on power analysis - what is power?

Power has been traditionally defined as the ability to realize wishes and produce the effects

you want to produce. In Bertrand Russels theory of social power, power was defined as

9 In Nyes words, Power is like weather. Everyone depends on it and talks about it, but
few understand it. Just as Farmers and meteorologists try to forecast the weather, political
leaders and analysts try to describe and predict changes in power relationships. Power is
also like love, easier to experience than to define or measure, but no less real for that. See
Nye, Soft Power, 1.

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the production o f intended effects (Russel 1938: 25).10 Max Webber defined the concept

of power as Power is the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a

position to carry out his own will despite resistance, regardless of the basis on which this

probability rests (Webber 1947: 152). According to Robert A Dahls definition of power,

A has power over B to the extent that A can get B to do what he would not otherwise do

(Dahl 1957: 201-215). In Steven Lukes book Power, he pointed out that an exercise of

power is one in which A affects B in a significant manner contrary to B 's interests and this

is applicable to both individuals and collectives (Lukes 1974: 31-32).11 Jeffrey Isaac

defined social power as the capacities to act, possessed by social agents in virtue of the
17
enduring relations in which they participate (Isaac 1987: 22). Dennis Wrong further

developed Russels definition and added the words intended and foreseen to rule out

10 Betrand Russel provided a very good starting point in defining power. His definition is
very simple, but very profound. According to Russel, power may be defined as the
production of intended effects, and A has more power than B, if A achieves many
intended effects and B only a few.

11 In his seminal book, Lukes outlined three dimensions of power. The first dimension is
the power o f A to influence the behavior of B. This exercise o f power is observable and is
tied to public conflicts over interests. It is played out in public decision-making processes.
The second dimension is the power of A to define the agenda, and thus to prevent B from
voicing her/his interests in the public negotiation and decision-making process. Potential
issues and conflicts are not brought into the open, to the benefit of A and to the detriment of
B. This exercise o f power can be both overt and covert. The third dimension is the power of
A to define what counts as a grievance, and to mould 5 s perceptions and preferences in
such a way that B accepts that she/he does not have any significant grievances. The power
to shape peoples thoughts and desires is the most effective kind of power, since it
preempts conflict and even preempts an awareness of possible conflicts. This dimension of
power can be played out for example in processes of socialization, the control of
information, and the control of the mass media.

12 This definition, Isaac points out, is meant in the sense that Anthony Giddens
distinguished the narrow sense of power as the capability to secure outcomes where the
realization o f these outcomes depends on the agency of others.

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accidental success as a manifestation of power: Power is the capacity of some persons to

produce intended and foreseen effects on others (Wrong 1995: 2).

Traditional Approaches to the Conceptualization of Power

Generally, a basic distinction can be drawn between behavioral power - the ability to

obtain outcomes you want, and resource power - the possession of certain resources that

are usually associated with the ability to reach outcomes you want (Keohane and Nye

1998: 81-94). Power is relational and contextual in that it can be evaluated in terms of all

the power elements, in the relation to another player or players, and in the situation in

which power is being exercised. Thus, during the past three decades, according to which

type of power resources power are conceived in them - the attributes of the state, the

attributes of relations among states, or the structures of international system, there have

been three major streams o f effort of the theoretical conceptualization of power in

international relations. Each stream of effort relies upon one of the three types of power

resources, and is irreducible to another. What follows is a review of these three traditional

approaches in the theoretical conceptualization of power.

Attributes Approach

The first approach, which focuses on the property that adheres to states - attributes

capabilities, can be called the attributes approach. This is the most common form of

theoretical power analysis in international relations, and central to balance of power theory

in both its classical and neo-realist forms. Based on this approach, power resides in the

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aggregate capabilities o f states relative to others and can be measured by some inventory of

domestic attributes. Its basic power conversion model presumes the ability to translate

underlying capabilities into effective influence or compliance through the imposition of

costs or conferring of benefits on the opponent or the threat or promise to do so (Caporaso

and Haggard 1989: 105). However, this model is prone to the criticism that they frequently

fail to show how a given resource base is relevant for actually achieving compliance,

particularly if opponents have a high tolerance for pain. The US in the Vietnam War and

the Soviet Union in the Afghan War are two typical examples. In recent decades, many

realist theorists have recognized the limitations of the traditional realist power conception,

and tried to find the solutions that would enhance the analytic leverage of this approach.

In the classical realist paradigm, states are personified in international relations in a


|o
world of anarchy and self-help. They argued that men possess an inherent lust for

power, which is a basic, intrinsic component of all humans at all times. Humans, when

aggregated into states, behave as a function of this basic drive and seek to maintain or to

increase power (Morgenthau 1985: 33).14 In the modem era, this approach has been

reflected quintessentially by Hans Morgenthau, who presented power not only as the

immediate aim, but also as a means to the nations end (Morgenthau 1985: 31). For

13 The classical realist lineage begins with Thucydides representation o f power politics as
a law of human behavior. The drive for power and the will to dominate are held to be
fundamental aspects o f human nature. Nicolas Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes are two
key figures in the development of classical realist political theory. Machiavelli, in The
Prince, advocated the theory that whatever was expedient was necessary - an early
example of utilitarianism and realpolitik. Hobbes, in Leviathan, set out his doctrine of
modem natural rights as the foundation of societies and legitimate governments.

14 According to Morgenthau, it is sufficient to state that the struggle for power is universal
in time and space and is an undeniable fact of experience. It cannot be denied that
throughout historic time, regardless of social economic and political conditions, states have
met each other in the contests of power. See Morgenthau, Power Among Nations.

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Morgenthau, therefore, international politics is a struggle for power, and nations strive to

realize their goal by means of international politics - striving for power. Morgenthau

defined power as mans control over the minds and actions of other men, and political

power as the mutual relations of control among the holders of public authority and

between the latter and the people at large. Although this definition may be abstract to

imply the conception o f power, he also distinguished two groups of factors (elements of

power) - relatively stable and subject to constant change - in determining the power of

a nation. The relatively stable factors include geography, natural resources (food and raw

materials). Those factors that are subject to constant change include industrial capacity,

military preparedness (technology, leadership, and quantity and quality of armed forces),

population (distribution and trends), national character, national morale, the quality of

diplomacy and the quality o f government (Morgenthau 1985: 127).

Neo-realism (structural realism), which is most often associated with Kenneth

Waltzs landmark book - Theory o f International Politics (1979), inherits Morgenthaus

classical power analysis framework. For Waltz, power still resides in the attributes of the

individual states, not in the international system structure. Moreover, Waltz argued that it

is the structure o f the system that compels states to seek power. Although neo-realist

theorists strongly emphasize the distribution of capabilities at the international system level

by arguing that the common relational definition of power omits consideration of how acts

and relations are affected by the structure of the actor (Waltz 1979: 191-192),15 they still

15 Waltz also argued that Power is a means, and the outcome of its use is necessarily
uncertain. To be politically pertinent, power has to be defined in terms of the distribution of
capabilities; the extent of ones power cannot be inferred from the results one may or may
not get. See Waltz, Theory o f International Politics, 191.

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believe that the international system structure is simply the distribution o f capabilities

among the units and it is ultimately reducible to the attributes capabilities of states (Waltz

1979: 97). If there is any disagreement within the attributes approach of power

conceptualization, it concerns some relatively minor questions like the priority among

different attributes and the importance of intangible resources. In short, the neo-realism

still regards the measurement of power as the capabilities that represent the sum total of

various national attributes.

Besides Morgenthaus classical realism and Waltzs structural realism, there is also

the modified realist category. Among these modified realists, some organize power

resources from different perspectives. For example, power resources can be divided into

natural and social determinants of power (Organski 1958),16 or tangible and intangible

(Couloumbis and Wolfe 1990).17 Some other modified realists, especially neoclassical

realists such as Randall Schweller, Fareed Zakaria, and William Wohlforth, introduce a

16 According to Organski, the natural determinants (geography, resources, and population)


are concerned with the number of people in a nation and with their physical environment;
social determinants (economic, political, military, psychological, and, more recently,
informational) concern the ways in which the people of a nation organize themselves and
the manner in which they alter their environment. However, in practice, it is impossible to
make a clear distinction between natural and social elements. For instance, resources are a
natural factor, but the degree to which they are used is socially determined. Population
factors, in particular, cut across the dividing line between both categories. The number of
people of working age in the population affects the degree of industrialization of a nation,
but the process of industrialization, in turn, can greatly alter the composition of the
population.

17 According to Theodore A. Couloumbis and James H. Wolfe, the first category includes
population, territory, natural resources, industrial capacity, agricultural capacity, military
strength and mobility; the second category includes leadership and personality,
bureaucratic-organizational efficiency, type of government, societal cohesiveness,
reputation, foreign support and diplomacy.

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variety o f intervening variables like decision-makers perceptions that stand between the

state and international outcomes (Schmidt 2005).

In the realist conceptualization, power is traditionally considered solely as the

attributes of states, but in reality, the states that are powerful in international politics do not

always possess the physical attributes that are normally associated with power, or some

countries that are better than others at converting their resource into effective influence

may possess less power resources. Therefore, some other IR theorists criticize the

attributes approach and point out that realism neglects a countrys skills at converting its

resources into effective influence (power conversion) and fail to determine which resources

provide the best basis for power in many particular contexts. These are limits of analytical

leverage o f the attributes approach in conceptualization of power.

Relational Approach

The second approach, looking for resources for power in the inherent characteristics

of relations between actors, can be called relational approach. The IR theorists who adopt

this approach argue that the resources of power are not limited to the properties that inhere

in the units but include resources that emerge from all kinds of exchanges that occur
1ft
between units. These exchanges assume a mutually beneficial relation, asymmetric

exchange or unequal dependence constitutes unequal distribution of power resources

(Keohane 1984). In the case of states, these exchanges include force, sanctions, trade, aids,

technology transfer, direct investment, etc. The analysis of exchange capabilities also can

18 Robert Kahl has suggested that power terms in modem social science refer to subsets of
relations among social units such that the behaviors of one or more units ... depend in
some circumstances on the behavior o f others. See Kahl, Power, in International
Encyclopedia o f the Social Sciences, 405-415.

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be extended to non-state actors like international organization (IOs) or multinational

corporations (MNCs). According to this approach, the states power is relative, not

absolute, i.e., a state does not have abstract power in and of itself, but only power in its

relations to another actor or actors in international arena. Put it simply, power is based on

relations between state A and another actor B, with B s dependence on state A being

conceived as As resource of power in its relationship with B (Emerson 1962: 32). To say

that the US is the most powerful nation in the world means that it enjoys mostly favorable

position in its relations with other countries.

This approach is closely connected with analytic concepts such as

interdependence, dependency and dependence. Many efforts have been made to

examine conceptual compatibility between power and those concepts. For those IR

theorists who employ this approach, their final goal is to try to develop an analytic concept

that can replace the realist concept of power, not in synthesizing those concepts with

power. Although a concept of power that is based on relational approach and readily

applicable to international relations has yet to be developed, a lot o f relative and necessary

groundwork had been done. The structural conditions of dependence, especially

dependence in trade relations, have been discussed in detail (Caporaso 1978; Richardson

1978). As is implied in the last two decades fashion for interdependence, the relational

approach focuses on exchange rather than coercion by physical forces in international

politics. Since the 1970s, the relational approach has been further developed in the neo

liberal framework of IR theory by Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye.

The neo-liberal institutionalists try to link interdependence to power by grafting

neo-liberal concepts onto realist insights about power (Keohane 1984: 5-17; Keohane 1986

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158-203; Keohane and Nye 1987: 725-753). They sought to account for the anomalies

that arose when realism tried to deal with issues of interdependence, by linking

interdependence to power through the concept of asymmetrical interdependence as a

power resource. They built a theory elucidating the notion of complex interdependence,

ideal for analyzing situations o f multiple transnational issues and contacts in which force is

not a useful instrument of policy (Ferguson and Mansbach 2003: 181).19 Neo-liberalism

distinguishes itself from realism by virtue of its insistence that nations growing

interdependence could provide them with a purely rational, self-interested motive for

avoiding conflict. This was a striking departure from the realists insistence that self-

interested behavior makes conflict inevitable in international relations (Keohane and Nye

1977: 247-249). They defined interdependence itself more broadly, to encompass

strategic issues involving force as well as economic ones. In their analysis,

interdependence is frequently asymmetrical and highly political: indeed, asymmetries in

interdependence generate power resources for states, as well as for non-state actors

(Keohane 2002: 2).20

19 For the neo-liberalists, interdependence also denotes certain characteristics of


contemporary international relations, such as the greater complexity of, and the decreasing
state autonomy in international relations. It then merely implies the characteristics of the
international system in which the exercise of state power becomes more complicated and
restricted.

20 Keohane argues further about how non-state actors get power from asymmetries in
vulnerability interdependence. Power comes not simply out o f the barrel of a gun, but
from asymmetries in vulnerability interdependence - some of which, it turns out, favor
certain non-state actors more than most observers anticipated. The networks of
interdependence along which power can travel are multiple, and they do not cancel one
another out. Even a state that is overwhelmingly powerful on many dimensions can be
highly vulnerable on others. We learned this lesson in the 1970s with respect to oil power;
we are re-leaming it now with respect to terrorism.

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However, there is a serious confusion regarding the relational approach in the

conceptualization o f power. A clear distinction is not made between interdependence as

an analytic concept referring to the mutual dependence, and as certain phenomena implying

the increasing complexity of interconnectedness. As Waltz puts it, to some extent,

discussions of interdependence are confused by the use of dissimilar definitions (Waltz

1984: 26). Moreover, within the relational approach, neo-liberal institutionalists fail to

establish a clear model of measuring power like Morgenthaus classic model.

Structural Approach

The third approach, presupposing that power derives from the international system

structures, can be called structural approach. This approach sees power as residing in the

unequal distribution of various resources, with implications for the relative costs of

undertaking certain actions. Those who hold more assets and have fewer dependencies win

more often and engage in the conflicts where the costs of losing are less than their

opponents costs (Keohane and Nye 1977: 104). These structural resources are irreducible

to the agents attributes capabilities or exchange capabilities. Borrowing the sociologist

Derek Layders definition, structure refers to an ongoing set of reproduced relations

between particular social groups that generates those groups and their possible

transformation, and structural power can be defined as a set of (prior) reproduced

asymmetric social relations between groups based on the possession of, and restriction of

access to, certain resources (Layder 1985: 131-149). Susan Strange elaborated on

structural power: Structural power, in short, confers the power to decide how things shall

be done, the power to shape frameworks in which states relate to each other, or relate to

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corporate enterprises (Strange 1988: 22). What makes structural power distinctive from

the other two concepts of power is that it relies upon those resources that situate social

groups in some pre-established, unequal social relation to other groups. Although the neo

realists employ the scientific structuralism into their theory, this structural power does not

conform to the neo-realist conception of power, in which the distribution of capabilities is

still reducible to the state attributes.

Generally, the structural approach has been comprehensively applied in the realm

of international political economy, especially employed in the Marxian and neo-Marxian

theories of international relations (Kubalkova and Cruickshank 1985). Power resources

may be turned to the objects of structuring the rules and institutions within which

international economic transactions take place. Although an explicit concept o f power has

not yet been provided by those theories, the common view is that the power of capitalists,

either classes or states, is a function of the structures of the international capitalist system,

which generate them and define their individual positions. As one of the earliest theorists

who understood that the power comes from setting the agenda and determining the

framework of a debate, Antonio Gramsci wanted to eradicate economic determinism from

Marxism and to develop its explanatory power with respect to super-structural

institutions.21 Gramsci himself did not focus his research about hegemony in

21 It was Gramsci who, in the late 1920s and 1930s, with the rise of fascism and the failure
of the Western European working-class movements, began to consider why the working
class was not necessarily revolutionary, why it could, in fact, yield to fascism. It can be
argued that Gramscis theory suggests that subordinated groups accept the ideas, values and
leadership o f the dominant group not because they are physically or mentally induced to do
so, nor because they are ideologically indoctrinated, but because they have reasons of their
own. Dominant groups in society, including fundamentally but not exclusively the ruling
class, maintain their dominance by securing the spontaneous consent of subordinate
groups, including the working class, through the negotiated construction of a political and

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intemational relations. However, his insights to understand existing international political

and economic hierarchies were developed by Immanuel Wallersteins world system

theory and Robert Coxs historical-structure conception o f hegemonic power.

For Wallersteins world system theory, capitalists power is the product of their

structural positions in the world system, and either classes or states are the bearers of

structural power. The theory, which focuses on international economic structure, is

concerned with the power to extract and appropriate a trade surplus, residing in the

structure o f the world economy, and defined in terms of the international division o f labor,

which simultaneously reproduces the world system of unequal exchange. Wallersteins

economic determinism marginalizes international political structure, such as sovereignty

and balance o f power. For Wallerstein, economic life is organized into a single world

economy with various political subdivisions (nation-states). The world economy is not

simply an aggregation of national economies; it is best seen rather as a hierarchy of zones

or regions, which are core, semi-periphery, periphery and external areas. These

regions are differentiated by level of technical sophistication, processing, and forms of

labor control, and are held together by commodity exchange, capital flows, and labor

migration (Wallerstein 1974, 1979,1983). One evident weakness is that his structural

determinism results in the separation of the operation of system structures from the

activities of state and class agents, and thus the reification of system structures in a way

which leads to static and even functional explanations of state action (Wendt 1987).

Robert Cox has tried to overcome this weakness in his historical-structural

conception o f hegemonic power - the attributes capabilities, the distribution o f capabilities

ideological consensus which incorporates both dominant and dominated groups. See
Strinati, An Introduction to Theories o f Popular Culture, 165-66.

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among states, and the organization of production. Cox developed a critical theory about

hegemony, world order and historical change in his two seminal articles (Cox 1981 and

1983). Nation-states are powerful because they experienced social and economic

revolutions actively while subordinate nations received them passively through the

adaptation by intellectuals, the penetration through international capital. Dominant forces

in subordinate nations intend to integrate aspects of the hegemonic order.22 Hegemony

embodies a historical structure in which material power, ideology and institutions fit

together. Cox put it in his famous quote:

World hegemony is describable as a social structure, an economic structure, and a


political structure; and it cannot be simply one of these things but must be all three.
World hegemony, furthermore, is expressed in universal norms, institutions and
mechanisms which lay down general rules of behavior for states and for those
forces o f civil society that act across national boundaries - rules which support the
dominant mode o f production. (Cox 1981: 141).

Besides these, there have been some other attempts to develop an explicit

conception of power by structural approach. For example, central to constructivist

interpretations o f power is the view that power itself comes from someplace and, in any

age, is heavily influenced by other social norms and practices. Although power may be a

social construct that changes over time, it is still perceived as system-wide attribute

inhering in all state members identically (Wendt 1992: 391-425). Although Wendt tried to

replace the world system theory by his structuration theory to resolve the agency-

structure problem inherent in structural approach, he did not go much further.

Review of Nyes Theory of Soft Power

22 Cox identifies three levels o f structure, which are intricately interrelated: social forces
engendered by the organization of production; forms of state, derived from state/society
complexes; and world orders.

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In the post-Vietnam 1970s and 1980s, many Americans came to question the future of

Americas place, and especially its predominance in the new world order. The question

spawned a school o f thought known as declinism, the idea that the US, following

historical examples like Pax Hispanica and Pax Britannica, was in a process of relative

decline among world powers (Kennedy 1987).24 Soft power was conceived during this

period as a counter to those who foresaw the decline of the US. Although it is Joseph Nye

who first coined and defined this concept in the field of international relation, the

development of this concept can be traced to the works of many other social scientists and

IR theorists (Ferguson 2003).25

Nye mentioned the traditional power definition o f Hans J. Morgenthau, Klaus Knorr

and Ray S. Cline, who believed that, to define power as the possession of resources might

be more practical than the behavioral definition of power (Nye 1990: 26). Even for Nye,

the simple proposition of realism as a first approximation in most situations is still the best

model to guide our thinking. In that model, Morgenthau identified nine elements of

national power, among which national character, national morale, the quality of diplomacy

23 To a great degree, this pessimism was based on the American economy: after three
decades of Americans overwhelming dominance in the world economy, American goods
and services for a time appeared progressively less competitive with foreign producers.

24 The leading publicist o f this argument was Yale historian Paul Kennedy. The cause of
this decline is what Kennedy called imperial overstretch, referring to increasingly
unaffordable expenditures on defense spending that weakened rather than strengthened the
country. The dynamics o f decline include power depleting military expenditures and a
relative drop in the world share of economic productivity.

25 For example, even a hard-core realist like Morgenthau plainly recognized the importance
of the quality of diplomacy as a power factor and also of admiration for a country in a
broader sense. See Ferguson Illusions o f Superpower, 21-33.

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and quality o f government are closely associated with intangible components of power

resources. Nye also re-emphasized another important problem in power definition - the

changed sources of power, which have been emphasized by some other theorists (Waltz

1979: 172; Gilpin 1981: 13; Rosecrance 1986: 16,160). The sources of power are moving

away from the emphasis on military force and conquest that marked earlier eras. In

assessing international power today, factors like culture, ideology, institutions, technology,

and education are becoming more important, whereas geography, population, and raw

materials are becoming less important. It is quite clear that Nye did not try to repudiate the

traditional definition o f power based on realism paradigm, and even there is clear

intellectual lineage between them. To some extent, Nyes works reintroduce Morgenthaus

power analysis in a neo-liberal paradigm. The connection between Nyes soft power and

Morgenthaus power model is reflected in Nyes emphasis on state attributes. Nye argued,

as world politics becomes more complex, the appropriate response to the changes occurring

in world politics today is not to abandon the traditional concern for the military balance of

power, but to accept its limitations and supplement it with insights about interdependence

(Nye 1990b: 177-92).

Therefore, to better understand why the sources of power in new world politics

have been converted, I should spare no efforts to thoroughly inspect neo-liberal description

of the contemporary world - interdependence, which are both the ideological foundations

and the source o f intellectual respectability of the soft power theory. Keohane and Nye

point out that there are three main characteristics in the world of complex

interdependence - multiple channels, the absence of hierarchy among issues and a minor

role of military force.

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Multiple channels connect societies, including: informal ties between governmental


elites as well as formal foreign office arrangements; informal ties among
nongovernmental elites.. .and transnational organizations.. .The agenda of interstate
relationships consists o f multiple issues that are not arranged in a clear or consistent
hierarchy.. .military security does not consistently dominate the agenda.. .the
distinction between domestic and foreign issues becomes blurred.. .Military force is
not used by governments toward other governments within the region, or on the
issues, when complex interdependence prevails.. .force is often not an appropriate
way of achieving other goals (such as economic and ecological welfare) that are
becoming more important... (Keohane and Nye 1977: 24-29)

In the current global information age, Nye argues that power is distributed among countries

in a pattern that resembles a complex three-dimension chess game.

On the top chessboard, military power is largely uni-polar. The US is the only
country with both nuclear weapons and conventional forces with global reach. But
on the middle chessboard, economic power is multi-polar, with the United States,
Europe and Japan representing two-thirds of world product, and with Chinas
dramatic growth likely to make it the fourth big player. On this economic board,
each power must often bargain with each other as an equal. The bottom chessboard
is the realm o f transnational relations that across borders outside government
control. On this bottom board, power is widely dispersed among such diverse actors
as states, non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations and
individuals. In this three-dimensional game, there are very important vertical
connections among three chessboards (Nye 2002a: 39).

Based on the neo-liberal alternative to the realist description o f world politics,


0 f\
Nyes soft power theory has been mainly developed in his three books. Nye first put

forward the idea o f soft versus hard power in his book - Bound to Lead: The Changing

Nature o f American Power in 1990. Nye argued that getting other states to change might

be called the directive or commanding method of exercising power, which can rest on

inducements (carrots) or threats (sticks). But, there is the consideration that is

26 Nye has three books that mainly discussed about the soft power: Bound to Lead: The
Changing Nature o f American Power (New York: Basic Books, 1990); The Paradox o f
American Power: Why the Worlds Only Superpower C ant Go It Alone (New York:
Oxford University Press, 2002); Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (New
York: Public Affairs, 2004).

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sometimes called the second face of power - an indirect way to exercise power. What

Nye describes as second face of power deserves quoting at length:

A country may achieve the outcomes it prefers in world politics because other
countries want to follow it or have agreed to a system that produces such effects. In
this sense, it is just as important to set the agenda and structure the situation in
world politics, as it is to get others to change in particular situations. This aspect of
power - that is, getting others to want what you want - might be called indirect or
co-optive power. It is in contrast to the active command power behavior of getting
others to do what you want. Co-optive power can rest on the attraction of ones idea
or on the ability to set the political agenda in a way that shapes the preferences that
others express.. .The ability to establish preferences tends to be associated with
intangible power resources such culture, ideology, and institutions. This dimension
can be thought o f as soft power, in contrast to the hard command power usually
associated with tangible resources like military and economic strength. (Nye 1990:
31-32).

In another book - The Paradox o f American Power: Why the Worlds Only

Superpower C ant Go It Alone (2002), Nye further explained what kind of resources the

states soft power resides in. Nye cautioned against triumphalism, the opposite error form
01
the declinism that he had warned against in 1990. Nye is most insightful when he

discusses the implications of the information revolution and globalization for American

foreign policy. As he sees it, information technology puts knowledge - and therefore

power - in the hands o f more people than ever before. The sovereign state still matters, but

it will not be what it used to be. Hence military force alone will not buy the US much

leverage in the coming decades, as economic interdependence and information flows make

stable rules, credible commitments, and soft power the currency of the new global realm

(Nye 2002a: 74-76). What follows is Nyes description of resources of soft power:

27 Nye points out: It is important to prevent the errors of both declinism and triumphalism.
Declinism tends to produce overly cautious behavior that could undercut out influence;
triumphalism could beget a potentially dangerous absence of restraint, as well as an
arrogance that could also squander out influence. See Nye, The Paradox o f American
Power, 4.

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Soft power is not merely the same as influence.. .and soft power is more than just
persuasion or the ability to move people by argument.. .in behavioral terms soft
power is attractive power. In terms of resources, soft power resources are the assets
that produce such attraction.. .The soft power of a country rests primarily on three
resources: its culture (in places where it is attractive to others), its political values
(when it lives up to them at home and abroad), and its foreign polices (when they
are seen as legitimate and having moral authority)... (Nye 2002a: 8-12).

In Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (2004), Nye has honed the

definition, expanded the examples, used new polling data and historical research, and

explored the implications and limits of soft power in the ways he had not done in either of

his earlier works. Specifically, he uses the conflict in Iraq as the context for defining and
jo
delving into the importance o f soft power in current IR research. Along the way Nye also

reintroduces his analysis of the changing context of power in international politics and

explains why soft power is even more important today than it was in the past. After

examining the sources o f American soft power, he investigates the soft power of some

other states and such non-state actors as Greenpeace and Human Rights Watch. Nye

argues that successful states need both hard and soft power - the ability to coerce others as

well as the ability to shape their long-term attitudes and preferences (Nye 2004: 129). He

then concludes the book by summarizing what all of this means for the US in the aftermath

of the war in Iraq - American security hinges as much on winning hearts and minds as it

does on winning wars. The world, including the Americans, faces an unprecedented

challenge from the dark side of globalization and the privatization o f war that has

28 As Nye writes in the preface of Soft Power, This book reflects the fraught international
relations that arose before, during, and after the Iraq War. Unlike the 1991 Gulf W ar...
(George W. Bush) escaped the constraints of alliances and institutions that many in his
administration chafed under, but he also produced doubts about the legitimacy of our
actions, and widespread anxieties about how the United States would use its preponderant
power.

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accompanied new technologies. In short, winning the peace is harder than winning a war,

and soft power is essential to winning the peace (Nye 2004: 12-13).

In this book, Nye also specifically mentions the relations between hard power and

soft power, which will be further discussed in the chapter III. As to how to interpret Nyes

three proposed components of soft power resources, how they are associated with soft

power, and how they can be assessed, I will discuss these questions one by one in the

beginnings o f the Chapter V, the Chapter VI and the Chapter VII.

Beyond Nyes Theory of Soft Power

After reviewing the traditional conceptions of power in international relations, the

following general observations can be made on all the three approaches to power

conceptualization. Despite these various efforts, one of the most serious weaknesses,

common to all existing conceptions of power in international relations, has not yet been

given attention. It is the multidimensionality of the resources of power. For developing the

conception of power that will have enough analytic leverage in the study of contemporary

international relations, it is a prerequisite to recognize that multidimensional resources exist

at various levels o f the international system. The recognition of the multidimensionality

would bring about a meaningful dialogue between different conceptions of power. The

understanding o f the multidimensional nature of power should be based on the conception

o f multidimensional power resources (Lehman 1988: 807-823). However, each of the three

approaches discussed above, relying on only one dimension of power resources - the

attributes of the state, the attributes of relations among states, or the structures of the

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intemational system, is irreducible to each another. Although many IR theorists have

attributed the lack of analytic leverage of the realist conception of power to its uni

dimensional view o f resources for power, there has been not much literature on

synthesizing different approaches to the conceptualization of power. Instead, much

attention has been paid to the questions of conceptual compatibility. Steven Lukes

arguments about why the concept of power is troublesomely controversial in the field of

international relations allude to this problem:

I am aware that the discipline of IR has long been characterized by overarching


debates between competing dominant paradigms - notably between adherents of
realism, and then neo-liberalism.. .Explanations, and thus explanatory
approaches, are always answers to questions - to some questions rather than other
questions. My suggestion is that both the realists and neo-realists and their various
critics all share an identifiable explanatory approach, which addresses certain
questions and not others... (Lukes 2005: 484-485)

Also, there has no exploration on multidimensionality itself in the field of IR

research. For a better understanding of the multidimensionality in international relations, it

will be useful to borrow some theoretical discussion about power from sociology, in which

multidimensionality of power resources has been much further explored. There are at least

two different perspectives addressing the multidimensionality of power resources in the

relevant research. From the first perspective, three analytically distinct types of resources -

utilitarian resources, coercive resources and normative resources - co-exist, and each lends

itself to a distinctive mode of domination (Etzioni 1968: 350-381; Lehman 1977: 47-48).29

29 According to Etzioni, utilitarian resources are material rewards such as good services,
property, and income, which are most congruent with domination through inducement;
coercive resources are material objects capable of doing violence to change bodies or
psyches, and they are used most effectively when constraint is the desired mode of
domination; and normative resources are malleable symbols rather than material rewards or
physical threats, and they are especially effective for domination via persuasion. See
Etzioni, The Active Society, 351.

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The second perspective distinguishes between allocative resources (control over material

objects) and authoritative resources (control over human beings) (Giddens 1984). In

contrast to the normative-utilitarian-coercive classification, this perspective asks us to

inquire about the principal site of resistance. The multidimensional use of allocative and

authoritative resources permits researcher to do an unbiased empirical study. Generally,

recognizing the multidimensionality of power resources enhances the empirical study of

politics in two ways. First, it prevents us from equating power with violence. Power can

derive from the manipulation of more than two kinds of assets. For example, coercive

resources, defined as the means of violence, will not be confused with coercion, seen as the

potential of overcoming resistance. Second, the recognition of multiple resource bases

suggests not all exercise o f power was equally alienating, and not all power fosters the

same kind o f compliance or the same opposition (Lehman 1988).

This dissertation will not try to develop a theoretically multidimensional framework

for power analysis in international relations by incorporating those three traditional

dimensions of power resources. At any rate, incorporating different approaches of power

analysis into a coherent single framework is never an easy task. Neither an incremental

expansion of the realist conception of power, nor a simple mixing up of the relevant ideas

from different perspectives, would produce a coherent, as well as more comprehensive,

theoretical framework. Instead, I will examine the multidimensionality of the concept of

soft power to determine whether this concept can be assessed in all three dimensions of

power resource. The utility o f power as an analytic concept ultimately lies in how well it

can explain the states behavior and the outcomes of power relations at different levels of

analysis. While Nye differentiated the term co-optive power (soft power) with Susan

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Stranges structural power, he argued, co-optive power, is similar in its focus on

preferences but is somewhat broader, encompassing all elements of international politics.

The term structural power, in contrast, tends to be associated with the neo-realist theories

of Kenneth Waltz (Nye 1990a: 266-267). Therefore, Nyes concept o f soft power,

different from that in the existing conceptions of power that are all developed in a uni

dimensional approach, has inherent multidimensional power resources. However, he

mentioned kinds of power resources in all of three dimensions, but he has not analyzed

them from the perspective of multidimensionality.30 This limits the analytical leverage of

Nyes theory o f soft power and causes some criticisms about Nyes concept of soft power.

Lukes discussion about Nyes works deserves quoting at length:

Notice that Nye makes no distinction between different ways in which soft power
can co-opt, attract and entice those subject to it; between the different ways in
which it can induce their acquiescence. In short, he draws no distinction between
modes of persuasion or ways of shaping preferences. He simply says that the US,
as an agent with power, must be more strategically effective in wielding its soft
power and projecting its values...There are, indeed, two distinctions that need to
be drawn here. First, a distinction between changing the incentive structures of
agents whose (subjective) interests are taken as given, on the one hand, and
influencing or shaping those very interests, on the other. And second, a distinction
between the conditions under which and mechanisms by which such shaping and
influencing occurs - conditions which may, on the one hand, favour personal
reasoning and rational judgment, and, on the other hand, may not.. .Both the agent-
centered view of Nye... failing to draw it... (Lukes 2005: 487, 491, 492).

The analytical limits of Nyes theory of soft power will be further discussed later

from the perspective o f a countrys capabilities of power conversion - from soft power

resources to desired policy outcomes. What follows is to examine, by identifying power

resources, how the three approaches can be applied to the concept of soft power.

30 Although Nye mentions three dimensions in No country is better endowed than the
United States in all three dimensions - military, economic, and soft power, these three
dimensions are not the measurements that define power by multidimensional approach.

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It is evident that the conception of soft power is closely connected with the

attributes approach. Based on what Nye differentiates hard power and soft power, soft

power conies from its specific resources - the soft attributes o f a state, which includes a

states culture, political values and domestic policies, and the substance and style of foreign

policies. Culture that has many manifestations is a set of values and practices that create

meaning for a society. It is common to distinguish between high culture such as literature,

art, and education, which appeals to elites; and popular culture, which focuses on mass

entertainment. A governments policies at home and abroad are another potential source of

soft power. Policies may have long-term as well as short-term effects that vary as the

context changes.31 The values a government champions in its behavior at home (e.g.,

democracy), in international institutions (working with others), and in foreign policy

(promoting peace and human rights) strongly affect the preferences of others (Nye 2002a:

11). As we discussed before, the resources of national power can be analyzed from many

perspectives. Nye divides the resources of national power into two categories - the

resources o f hard power and the resources of soft power which both can be attributed from

different state attributes.

31 Nye points out that government policy can reinforce or squander a countrys'soft power
by some examples. In the 1850s racial segregation at home undercut American soft power
in Africa, and today the practice of capital punishment and weak on gun control laws
undercut American soft power in Europe. The popularity of the United States in Argentina
in the early 1990s reflected Carters human rights policies of the 1970s, and it led the
Argentine government to support American policies in the UN and in the Balkans.

32 Although governments can attract or repel others by the influence of their example, Nye
emphasizes that soft power does not belong to the government in the same degree that hard
power does. According to Nye, many soft power resources are separate form the American
government and are only partly responsive to its purposes. See Nye, The Paradox o f
American Power, 11.

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The second approach - relational approach, also fits in Nyes concept of soft

power obviously. While Nye argues that the distinction between hard and soft power

resources is one o f degree in the nature of the behavior, he refers it to the spectrum of

behaviors within which the attributes of relations between states vary. As showed in Figure

2.1, the forms o f behavior between command and co-optive power range along a

continuum:

Figure 2.1 Forms of Behavior between Hard Power and Soft Power33

C o e rc io n Inducem ent A ttra c tio n


H ard Soft
C om m and C o -o p tiv e
P ow er P ow er

Source: Nye, Bound to Lead, 267; Nye, Soft Power, 8.

Command power - the ability to change what others do - can rest on coercion or

inducement. Co-optive power - the ability to shape what others want - can rest on the

capabilities of agenda-setting and attraction o f ones culture and values and policies (Nye

1990: 267). Among these attributes of relations between states, the ideal attribute of

relations between states is that a state may achieve the outcomes it prefers in world politics

because other countries want to follow it. Therefore, for a country, the attractiveness of its

culture, the universality o f its values and acceptability o f its policies contribute to its

resources of soft power in the relational approach. Put it simply, if it is country ^ s

national interests for country B to do X, the strongest resource o f soft pow er in relations

i-i

This figure was established by Joseph Nye in his book Bound to Lead to discuss the
distinction between hard and soft power resources is one of the degree, both in the nature of
the behavior and in the tangibility of the resources. See Nye, Bound to Lead, 267.

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exchange approach is that A set a good example to shape 5 s agenda and preferences in

order that B wants to follow A voluntarily to do X.

Compared to the above two approaches, the third approach - structural approach -

can be applied to Nyes concept of soft power indirectly. Soft power not only resides in a

countrys culture, values and policies, but also resides in the structure of international

system, which comprises o f international norms, rules and institutions. For example,

Britain in the 19th century and the US in the second of half of the 20th were promoting their

soft power because they created a structure of international rules and institutions that were

consistent with the liberal and democratic nature of the British and American international

systems: free trade and the gold standard in the case of Britain; the International Monetary

Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations in the case of the US (Nye

2004a: 10-11). A countrys favorable international system structure, which effectively

governs areas o f international activity, is the important source of its soft power. Therefore,

the most critical capabilities for a leading country is its ability to convert its potential

resources o f soft power - a broad measure of consent on general principles that ensure the

supremacy o f the leading country - into effective influence by offering some prospects of

satisfaction to the less powerful and make its actions more legitimate in the eyes of others.

If a state can make its power legitimate in the eyes of others, it will encounter less

resistance to its wishes; if it can establish international norms that are consistent with its

society, it will be less likely to have to change; if it can help support institutions that

encourage other states to channel or limit their activities in ways that dominant state

prefers, it may not need as many costly exercises of coercive power in bargaining situations

(Nye 2004b; Nye 2004c).

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Therefore, the concept of soft power is more than the natural extension of Nyes

descriptions o f international relations in a neo-liberal framework - interdependence. Its

conceptualization may be attributed from combining those three traditional approaches of

power conceptualization. Besides its multidimensionality, the concept of soft power has

other two important characteristic - instability and changeability. Soft powers formation,

development and change in strength have its timely domestic and international background.

For example, Japans economic model was applauded around the world in 1980s, but lost

its luster when Japan entered its decade-long recession; the so-called Asian Values was

quickly gone after the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997; and also the people who advocated

the Washington Consensus in 1990s, have already convert their focus to the Beijing

Consensus.34 Also in modem society, the development of soft power has close

connections with scientific and technological progress, and the information society and the

knowledge economy. For example, the uneven development of foreign cultural

attractiveness between Britain and America doesnt mean British culture is in decline, but

the globalization and information revolution accelerate developments of American cultural

power resources and provide more media transmitting of American cultural values and

products.

Regarding soft powers changeability, it can be understood from the following four

perspectives. First, soft power is closely related to the evolution of a countrys traditions.

A countrys ethnic, religious and cultural traditions, as the deepest sources of cultural

34 According to Joshua Cooper Ramo, former Foreign Editor of Time magazine, there is a
new Beijing Consensus emerging with new attitudes to politics, development and the
global balance o f power. Ramo argues that China offers hope to developing countries after
the collapse of the Washington Consensus. It provides a more equitable paradigm of
development that countries from Malaysia to Brazil are following. See Ramo, The Beijing
Consensus.

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power, come about through a long historical evolution. A peoples mode of thinking,

ideology, cultural traditions, ethnic customs, social systems, economic regime, style of life,

etc, are the cumulative result of the evolution of forms of social production. In this

process, every element o f soft power is always influenced by tradition. Therefore, a

countrys soft power develops in a similar trajectory with its own cultural traditions.

Second, soft power represents human progress timely, socially and technologically. Soft

power is intangible, but not a mirage. Only the soft power that represents the mainstream

of the times can develop constantly.35 Especially in modem society, soft power has close

relations with scientific and technological progress, the information society and the

knowledge economy. The development of information technology makes mass media a

very dynamic and influential means, by which soft power produces enormous impacts on

international relations and becomes an important hallmark of a nations power. Third, soft

power itself has a strong capability to spread and compete. With the rising tide of the

information revolution, soft power reaches beyond the limits of geographical boundaries,

national ethnicity, cultural difference, etc. It has great impacts on the lifestyle and behavior

standards of human beings. According to Nye, the information revolution and

globalization o f the economy are transforming and shrinking the world.. .many of these

organizations [MNCs and NGOs] will have soft power o f their own as they attract citizens

into coalitions that cut across national boundaries (Nye 2004: 30-31). Finally, the

35 Nye implies this by arguing: The countries that are likely to gain soft power in an
information age are those whose dominant culture and ideas are closer t prevailing global
norms (which emphasize liberalism, pluralism, and autonomy); those with the most access
to multiple channels of communication and thus more influence over how issues are
framed; those credibility is enhanced by their domestic and international performance...
See Nye, The Information Revolution and American Soft Power, 60-76.

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development of soft power is a dynamic process with great uncertainty and mobility. Soft

power itself is a changing complex, in which the formation and transition of power depends

on the contradictory movement of its various components. Unlike nationality and ethics, a

countrys popular culture, quality of government, diplomatic tactics, educational

attractiveness, etc, require a relatively shorter time to form and develop and hence are more

changeable.

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Chapter III Assessment of Soft Power

Due to its intangible power resources, it is impossible to precisely measure a countrys soft

power. As admitted by Nye, it is difficult for the government to control and employ soft

power. Like love, it is hard to measure and to handle, does not touch everyone, but that

does not diminish its importance (Nye 2002b). For research purposes, power can be

thought of as both collective power and distributive power by social scientists (Domhoff

2001: 9). Collective power concerns the capacity of a group to realize its common goals.

Distributive power, then, is about who has power over whom and what. However,

assessing an elusive concept such as power has never been perfect. It is important to have

more than one model in assessing power. Ideally, models will be of very different types so

that the irrelevant components of each of them will cancel one another out. First, when

power is thought o f as the combination of organization, cooperation, morale, and

technology that allows one group or nation to grow and prosper while another falters, a

structuralist model of power assessment will be applied to assess power. Second, when

power is thought o f as the chance of a man or a number of men to realize their own will in

a social action even against the resistance of others who are participating in the action

(Wrong 1995: 21), a behaviorist model of power assessment will be applied to assess

power. In short, these two models will point to the same direction, giving greater

confidence that the concept of power be assessed comprehensively and accurately.

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Structuralist Model of Power Assessment

In analyzing power resources in the field of international relations, this dissertation has

already defined three approaches - attributes approach, relational approach, and

structural approach. The first approach, which focuses on the property that adheres to

states, has been clearly exemplified in Hans Morgenthaus classical model of power

assessment. He viewed power as an abstract commodity, not part of a relationship, by

speaking of power without relating it to a specific objective or context. Morgenthau

assessed a states power resources by measuring and aggregating a set of variables. As a

result of his analysis o f power in his classic work - Politics among Nations: the Struggle

fo r Power and Peace, Morgenthau became an architect of the structuralist model in power

assessment.

A comparison between the elements of national power Morgenthau selected and

those employed by subsequent realist power theorists shows a clear intellectual lineage.

For example, Organski suggested six determinants of power - population, political

development, economic development, national morale, resources, and geography (Organski

1968). According to Ray Clines function of national power, national power is a product

of a countrys geographic size, its population growth, national resources and industry,

military organization, strategy and ambitions (Cline 1980).36 John M. Collins lists the

following as elements o f national power: political forces with impacts in both domestic and

international arenas, the peoples character, ethics and education, and any other leading

36 Ray Clines function of national power is Pp=(C+E+M)x(S+W). In this function, Pp is


national power; C is critical entities; E is economic ability; M is military organization; S is
strategic intention, and W is will to implement national strategy.

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factors as well (Collins 1973). Joseph Frankel explained how national power is expressed

through propaganda, economics, diplomacy, and military force (Frankel 1988). He stresses

national power is the ability to affect psychology and behavior o f others. From his points

of view, psychology, society and international strategic status are all parts of national

power. As most structuralist models parallel Morgenthaus model for assessing national

power, Morgenthaus model makes the best case because it attempts to completely

incorporate and comprehensively define more variables that relate to the intangible

elements o f power than any other structuralist model.

It is important to stress at the outset that Morgenthau believes that what his model

measured is power, not potential power or perceived power, and that he views power as the

causal variable in politics. He repeatedly stated in his book that power may comprise

anything that establishes and maintains the control of man over man and that by power

we mean the power o f man over the minds and actions of other men, a phenomenon to be

found wherever human beings live in social contact with another. Further, he wrote that

the meaning o f national power was self-evident from what had been said about power in

general (Morgenthau 1985: 117). Thus, for Morgenthau, the power of one actor causes

alterations in the thinking and actions of another actor, i.e., it causes changes in the others

political behavior. His model is designed not to serve as an indicator of power - the

accuracy of which can presumably vary from one situation to the next - but to provide a

method to measure national power itself. Apparently aware of the difficulty of explaining

dynamic conflicts with static indicators, Morgenthau tried to build flexibility into his

structuralist model by dividing these elements into two groups - relatively stable and

subject to change. In applying Morgenthaus model to assess a states soft power, the

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first step is to identify each of its nine elements of national power, especially those

elements that are closely related to intangible power resources of soft power. The five

tangible power elements are:

Geography Morgenthau viewed geography as an important and the most stable element of

national power. In his view, the relationship between geography and power related to the

ability of a state to defend itself from external conventional and nuclear armed attack

(Morgenthau 1985: 128). In terms of presence or absence of natural frontiers, territorial

size, geographical location, geographical situation, etc, are obviously tangible power

resources.

Natural Resources Morgenthau analyzed the natural resources of a state in terms of two

components, the capacity to produce food and the raw materials needed for an

industrialized economy. In his model, the relations between food production and national

power can be boiled down to the issue of self-sufficiency. He explained the relative

importance of various raw materials through their relations to industrial production and

war-making capacity (Morgenthau 1985: 130).

Industrial Capacity Morgenthau viewed industrial capacity as the critical conversion

factor in capitalizing on a states raw materials. With reference to coal and iron, he

observed that the US and former Soviet Union have drawn a good deal of their national

strength from the possession of vast amounts of these two raw materials and industrial

plants that can transform them into industrial products (Morgenthau 1985: 136). Thus, the

number of industrial plants becomes a deciding factor for measurement of a states power.

Military Preparedness For Morgenthau, military power is one of the keys to national

power. According to him, all the above elements of power derived much of their

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importance from their contribution to a nations military power. Three most significant

factors - military technology, leadership (military genius in the art o f war), and the quality

and quantity of armed forces, determine the military preparedness.

Population Morgenthau wrote that to rank among the great powers a state had to number

among the most populous countries. He dwelled at length on the need for a critical mass in

terms of population and territory. Morgenthau focused on four empirical referents for the

element of population: absolute size, size of the twenty- to forty-year-old age cohort,

growth rate, and density (Morgenthau 1985: 143). For example, in his view, countries such

as Australia and Canada are thinly populated, while India and China had too high a

population density.

According to Nye, soft power rests on the ability to shape the preferences of others.

This ability tends to be associated with intangible assets such as an attractive national

personality, culture, political values and institutions, and policies that are seen as legitimate

or having moral authority. Based on these definitions, geography, natural resources,

industrial capacity, military preparedness and population are all tangible power resources,

and should be measured as hard power resources. However, national character, national

morale, quality o f government, and quality of diplomacy are primarily connected with

Nyes three components o f soft power resources. In the following, I will examine how

these two categories o f power resources are related each other.

National Character

Morgenthau associates a countrys national character only with the anthropological

concept o f cultural pattern, which expresses the view that certain qualities of intellect

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and character occur more frequently and are more highly valued in one nation than in

another.37 He stressed its importance as followed:

National character cannot fail to influence national power: for those who act for the
nation in peace and war, formulate, execute, and support its policies, elect and are
elected, mold public opinion, produce and consume - all bear to a greater or lesser
degree the imprint of those intellectual and moral qualities which make up the
national character (Morgenthau 1985: 151).

Morgenthau gave some examples of national character. For example, the

elementary force and persistence of the Russians, the individual initiative and inventiveness

of the Americans, the undogmatic common sense of the British, and the discipline and

thoroughness o f the Germans are some of the qualities which will manifest themselves, for

better or for worse, in all the individual and collective activities in which the members of a

nation may engage (Morgenthau 1985: 151). In Morgenthaus model, there is the close

connection between national character and national power, which is related to how cultural

attitudes and traits condition a nation toward establishing its image for itself in the eyes of

other nations, and its approaches to pursing some political goals. Thus, culture has a broad

determinant impact on the achievements of the state by playing an important role in

providing the spiritual, ethical and economic conditions for human life. However, different

from Morgenthaus assertion that national character (culture pattern) is relatively

unchangeable, it should be expected that changes in culture patterns and themes will occur

so as to maintain optimally such patterns and themes; that is to say, one should expect, as a

correlate to the expectation of pattern-maintaining cultural change, that the more modem

societies are, the more the elements of their cultures will be general, thus flexible (Eckstein

37 For Morgenthau, as the human factors of a qualitative nature which have a bearing on
national power, national character and national morale stand out both for their ubiquity and
permanence, which have decisive influence upon the weight a nation is able to put into the
scales of internal politics. See Morgenthau, Power among Nations, 146-147.

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1992: 272-273). Although different scholars see different connotations for culture, in no

dimension should culture be perceived as static.38

In considering the diversity of contemporary culture, the key to be kept in mind is

that different cultures have different values. The ethno-centrists believe their national

culture to be supreme and hence their values as its most outstanding manifestation.39

Samuel Huntington holds that the Western civilization is valuable not in its universality,

but in its uniqueness, therefore, it is not advisable to impose the values of the Western

civilization on the non-Westem societies (Huntington 1996).40 In international relations, a

nations national character (culture) will fail to cause advantageous effects on outcomes

when it is imposed on or induced to the other nations. Culture, as a soft power resource,

can only convert efficient national power resources by attraction.

National Morale

This component of power in Morgenthaus model corresponds with national will in

those of other structuralist scholars. The degree of national cohesiveness, leadership and

governmental efficacy and peoples concern over national strategy and interests all belong

to the factor of national will (Cline 1980). This is more than the personal will power of

38 In its broad sense, culture refers to the sum of the material and spiritual wealth that has
been created in the historical practice of human society. In its narrow sense, culture is the
social ideology and its corresponding systems and organizations, including viewpoints and
ideas of politics, law, ethics, arts, religions, science and compatible systems.

39 For the West-centrism, the Western countries assume that as values of freedom and
democracy are universally viable and promote the values of Western culture across the
world via advanced technology and its powerful cultural carriers.

40 Huntingtons views have been responded by many people in Asia, Africa, Latin America
and Europe. They agree that world cultures coexist in relative terms: each culture is
different from the other; and each has its own advantage and criteria o f values.

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individual leaders. It permeated all activities of a nation, its agricultural and industrial

production as well as its military establishment and diplomatic service (Morgenthau 1985:

153). It is important whenever a nations power is brought to bear on an international

problem.41 For Morgenthau, national morale was more elusive and less stable than other

elements o f national power and its intensity was very difficult to predict. Although it is

related to national character, Morgenthau stated that any analyst could not draw direct

conclusions about the former from the latter in specific circumstances. How should

national morale be measured in Morgenthaus model? He argued that the best measure of

the probable level o f national will was the integrative capacity o f a nations government.

Morgenthau saw unity as the key to will and a breakdown in unity as the trigger to the

breakdown in will. He wrote:

Any segment o f the population which feels itself permanently deprived of its rights
and of full participation in the life of the national will tend to have a lower national
morale, to be less patriotic than those who do not suffer from such disabilities.
The same is likely to be true of those whose vital aspirations diverge from the
permanent policies pursued by the majority or by the government. Whenever deep
dissensions tear a people apart, the popular support that can be mustered for a
foreign policy will always be precarious and will be actually small if the success or
failure o f the foreign policy has a direct bearing upon the issue of the domestic
struggle (Morgenthau 1985: 153).

Generally, autocratic governments, which in the formulation of their policies do not

take peoples wishes into account, cannot rely upon much popular support for their foreign

policies. High national morale must be accomplished through free interplay o f political

values and popular forces, guided by a wise and responsible government. National

cohesion was based on the same political values held by both government and people.

41 Morgenthau believes that national will, in the form of public opinion, provides an
intangible factor, without whose support no government, democratic or autocratic is able to
pursue its policies with effectiveness, if it is able to pursue them at all. See Morgenthau,
Power among Nations, 153.

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When a government cares what people think, and people want to support it, this country

will become stronger and more attractive in the field of foreign policies.

Quality of Diplomacy

Morgenthau stated that the quality of diplomacy was the most important element of

national power because it functioned as a catalyst for the other elements of power.42 He

reiterated throughout his work that, diplomacy was used to pursue national interest as a

goal, and high-quality diplomacy brings the ends and means of policy and the power of a

state into balance. Although it is difficult to evaluate a states diplomacy directly, there are

two indirect methods suggested in Morgenthaus writings.43 The first evaluates a states

diplomacy on the basis o f the number of major countries that state is able to recruit to its

side in certain international problems. This alternative is based on the power definition in

behavioral power resources and will be discussed in the following chapter. The second

possible alternative method was to assess a states aptitude for diplomacy. In

Morgenthaus view, a good aptitude for diplomacy had (1) to set policy objectives in light

of its power; (2) to assess the objectives of others and their power; (3) to assess the

compatibility between the objectives of all sides; and (4) to select the appropriate means

(persuasion, compromise, or threat of force) to pursue the national objective (Morgenthau

1985: 539-540). Thereby, to achieve high-quality diplomacy, a state had to divest its

42 Morgenthau uses a metaphor to show the importance of diplomacy in national power,


Diplomacy, one might say, is the brains of national power, as national morale is its soul. If
its vision is blurred, its judgment defective, and its determination feeble, all the advantages
of (the other power elements) will in a long run avail a nation little. See Morgenthau,
Power among Politics, 159.

43 Despite the importance of diplomacy in Morgenthaus model, he did not provide much
guidance for analysts seeking to measure the quality of specific states diplomacy.

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policy of any crusading spirit, view the political scene from the point of view of other

states, show a willingness to compromise on non-vital issues, avoid backing itself into a

comer from which it could not retreat without losing face or advance without great risks,

and prevent the perspective o f the armed forces from dominating foreign policy

(Morgenthau 1985: 564-568).

What kinds of aptitude for diplomacy can produce soft power in foreign policy?

Generally speaking, foreign policy produces soft power when it promotes broadly shared

values such as democracy and human rights in an appropriate style. All countries pursue

their national interest in foreign policy, but there are choices to be made about how broadly

or narrowly we define our national interests, as well as the means by which we pursue it

(Nye 2004a: 60). After all, soft power is about mobilizing cooperation from others without

threats or payments. Since it depends on the currency of attraction rather than force or

payoffs, soft power depends in part on how a country frames its own objectives. Policies

based on broadly inclusive and far-sighted definitions of the national interest are easier to

make attractive to others than policies that take a narrow and myopic perspective (Nye

1990a: 62). Put it simply, the multilateralist-intemationalist foreign policy will argue that a

state is best served by being an active participant in the global system and that the country

should respond within the framework of international norms and institutions whenever

possible, taking a lead position most of the time.

Quality of Government

Morgenthau treats the quality of government as an independent requirement of

national power: The best conceived and most expertly executed foreign policy, drawing

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upon an abundance o f material and human resources, must come to naught if it cannot draw

also upon good government (Morgenthau 1985: 162). He identified three components that

had to be factored into an assessment of governmental quality: (1) balance between the

material and human resources that go into the making of national power; (2) balance

among the resources o f power; and (3) domestic popular support for the foreign policies of

a state (Morgenthau 1985: 162). First, Morgenthau argued that good government must

choose the objectives and methods of its policy in view o f the power available to support

them with a maximum chance of success (Morgenthau 1985: 162). Second, regarding the

balance among a states various power resources, two issues appeared most important: a

state needed the right mixture of resources to maximize its power; and a state needed to

exploit the possibility of what could be called a magic bullet element of national power

(Morgenthau 1985: 163-164).44 Third, the component of popular support in Morgenthaus

concept of the quality of government is related to the need of a state to secure the approval

of the people for its policies, which are needed to mobilize national power in support of its

external objectives (Morgenthau 1985: 162).

On the basis o f Morgenthaus explanation, the quality of government will be better

considered as a states capability of power conversion. As discussed before, power

conversion is the capacity to convert potential power, as measured by resources, to realized

power, as measured by the changed behavior of others. The basic power conversion model

presumes the ability to translate underlying capabilities into effective influence or

compliance through the imposition of costs or conferring of benefits on the opponent or the

44 Morgenthau cited an example that the 19th-century Britain, which was weak in terms of
natural resources, population size, and ground forces, capitalized on naval supremacy to
expand overseas and ensure for itself the uninterrupted flow of raw materials and food.

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threat or promise to do so (Caporaso and Haggard 1989: 105). Nye points out that co-

optive (soft) power can rest on both the capabilities of agenda-setting and attraction of

ones culture, values and policies (Nye 1990: 267). Thus, it is almost impossible to

completely assess a states capability of power conversion, including soft power, in the

structuralist model.

Behaviorist Model of Power Assessment

Although in both structuralist model and behaviorist model, the power of an actor is

regarded as a variable that explains his ability to achieve intended outcomes, the two

schools of thoughts take different paths. Instead of aggregating a states holdings of

various assets such as territory, population, wealth, or armed forces, behaviorist models

measure power by observing the activities, that is, the behavior of the actors involved in a

given power relations. In short, unlike structuralists, whose measures o f power render an

absolute judgment, the behaviorist model holds that power is a matter o f degree.

The model was developed on the basis of Robert Dahls definition of power as the

ability of A to get B to do something which he would otherwise not do (Dahl 1957).

Jeffrey Hart called this model as the approach of control over actors. He argued:

One possible objection to Dahls definition is that if A does not want B to do that
something, then this ability to get B to do it is not terribly useful, except insofar
as the non-exercise o f this power produces the desired results.. .Another possible
objection is that A may be able to get B to do a certain thing but not others.. .it also
may be somewhat misleading to define power in a way which suggests a
deterministic relationship between A s acts and B s behavior. As acts may merely
limit the range o f alternative action for B ... (Finally) a change in B s behavior may
result from his anticipation of a change in As behavior, despite the fact that A had
no intention of changing his behavior or producing the change in B s behavior (Hart
1976).

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According to the above discussions, at the most fundamental level the behaviorist

model seeks to measure power by observing the extent to which the activities of the

primary actor change the behavior of the target of the influence attempt in the intended

direction. This suggests that to assess a states power, behaviorist scholars must take three

steps. The first is to identify the primary actors goals in the influence attempt, his doctrine

for achieving those goals in such a situation, the instruments of power available to him to

do so, and the will he possesses to endure the costs of the influence attempt. By identifying

the goals, doctrine, means and will, the analyst can then estimate the likely behavior of the

primary actor in the influence attempt. The second step is to undertake the same analysis

and produce an estimate o f likely behavior for the target of influence and other relevant

actors. The third step requires the analyst to render a judgment about the outcome of the

interaction of likely behavior o f the primary actor and the target of influence over time,

thereby also assessing the power of the primary actor to achieve his objective in the

influence attempt. What followed is an introduction of the simplified process of

behaviorist model o f power assessment, which includes ends of power, means of power,

context o f the exercise of power, and final assessment.

Ends of Power

It is an axiom for behaviorist power analysts that an actors ends must be defined

before his power can be assessed. The behaviorist ideas about the relational nature of

power stipulate that power must be viewed as part of a specific relationship in which actor

A tries to get actor B to do X, where X isyfs end or goal in the influence attempt. Thus, the

end or goal is integral to what Harry Eckstein and Ted Robert Gurr called an item of

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power (Eckstein and Gurr 1975: 1146), and to what Harold Lasswell and Abraham Kaplan

called a power relation (Lasswell and Kaplan 1950: 75). In the view o f a behaviorist

analyst, the ability of an actor to achieve intended outcomes varies according to the

outcome he intends to bring about. For example, the power of the Clinton administration in

the post-Tiananmen era to promote the basic values of human rights and democracy inside

China would varies a great deal on the scope of the goal of its influence attempt. If it

sought to wrest a couple of individual dissidents free from the prison, it had significant

power. If its goal was to bring parliamentary democracy or a multi-party political system

to China, it would have been utterly powerless.

Ends should be understood as a desired level of a certain behavior by certain actors

over time. Every political actor engages in what could be defined as streams of behavior

- continuing conduct o f certain kinds of activity, the levels of which vary over time. For

example, citizens of a state can accept the legitimacy of a regime wholly, partially, or not at

all, demonstrating that acceptance by conforming to its prescribed norms to varying

degrees. Governments can allocate various levels of resources over time to agencies

charged with addressing specific problems. All of these activities, which are always taking

place but whose level can rise or fall over time, represent streams of behavior. This

phenomenon is present in international politics. For example, state A can increase the

number of movies exported to state B in order to expand its cultural influence in state B;

and state A can engage in various amounts of daily international broadcasting designed to

influence the state B 's domestic public opinion. In the context of an influence attempt,

what state A as the primary actor seeks to do is to make state B the target of influence to

alter the level of a particular kind of behavior to a specific level. These flows of

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Figure 3.1 Behavior Depicted on Timelines


Hours of State A's Radio Broadcasting to State B

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Time (year)

Figure 3.2 Behavior Depicted on Serial Continuum


State B's Tarriffs on Imported Books from State A

a = State A's desired goal in State B's tariffs on Imported Books


b = The actual level of tariffs charged by state B

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behavior can be depicted in two ways, on a time line and on a series of continuums. As

showed in the Figure 3.1, a hypothetical state A s intended radio broadcasting hours (per

week) to state B varies over periods of time measured in years. The unit o f time is

unimportant, but it must be specified in order to show the ebb and flow of the level of each

behavior. Figure 3.2 breaks the period of time into nine continuums that depict the level of

import number assessed in each year. In addition, on such continuums, one can depict state

A s goal - such as, for example, to have state B lower its tariff on imported books to a

certain level every year - and track B s behavior in relations to As influence attempt.

Thus, in the behaviorist model, the goal of a primary actor can be defined in behavioral

terms - the desired level of a specific kind of behavior on the part o f the target of influence.

Once the ends are defined in such behaviorist terms, the analyst should identify and

examine the means o f power.

Means of Power

The superior capacity o f man to control nature is related to his unique reason and

unique instruments. In a similar way, the means of an actor to achieve intended outcomes

in a specific situation combines both intellectual and physical factors. In a behaviorist

model, the means o f power can be analyzed at three levels:

Doctrine The ideas and mental images that most matter for the exercise of power are an

actors doctrine, which are the authoritative ideas that govern his understanding of and

response to various situations. The empirical referents for assessing a states doctrine are

authoritative officials statements and patterns of action. Authoritative statements serve the

function of doctrine because they express the ideas that govern an actors approach to the

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attempted exercise o f power. If a state has consistently conducted itself in a certain way in

particular kinds o f situations, for example, engaged in promoting free trade around the

world, it is plausible to conclude that such efforts are part of its doctrine for economic

globalization. In the ideal situation, an analyst will have both of them with which to base

his conclusions about doctrine.

Instrument of Power It involves the physical organizations and activities that a primary

actor can employ to interact with the target o f influence. In behaviorist model, discussion

of the instrumental nature o f power stressed that an analyst should not look at the

structuralist power-related attributes of a primary actor (such as territory, population,

natural resources, etc.) but at its capacity to engage in activities (such as threat, sanction,

manipulation, etc.) that will affect the behavior of the target of influence. In the discussion

of the instrumental nature of power, behaviorist scholars broke down power-related

activities into coercion, incentives, manipulation, persuasion, and authority.

Will It relates to the willingness of an actor to bear the costs of the influence attempt over

time. In assessing a states will in the behaviorist model, there are usually three steps.

First, an analyst should study the historical record of a states actions to find out the actors

hierarchy o f values and distinguish its core values. With this value structure in mind, the

analyst should then determine whether the states goal in a particular situation relates to

core or secondary values. Finally, an analyst should evaluate on the basis of past

performance in similar conflicts whether a state has a tradition o f cost insensitivity or signs

of cost sensitivity. This indicator of will relies on historical analogies.

Context of the Exercise of Power

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The behaviorist discussion of the relational nature of power and the contextual

nature of power stressed the point that the power of an actor had to be assessed in relation

to that of other relevant actors. Power in this sense was an integral part of a relationship

between actors. Moreover, the capabilities that represent power in one situation may have

little or no utility in another. To assess the power of an actor to achieve a specific goal in a

particular situation, an analyst has to take into account the context o f the exercise of power,

which has two components. The first is that target of influence, the individuals or groups

whose behavior that primary actor seeks to alter. The second is the other relevant actors,

the individuals or groups who support the primary actor or who assist the target of

influence. The analysis o f each of these actors mirrors what the model requires in

analyzing the primary actor. The ends, doctrine, instruments of power, and will of each

actor are identified and analyzed, and these analyses are employed to develop and estimate

its likely behavior in response to the actions of the primary actor in the influence attempt.

It is impossible to gauge the degree to which the primary actor will prevail in the process of

give-and-take without analyzing the capabilities of the other in the context.

Behaviorist Assessment

This section so far has described the preliminary analysis needed to provide a

behaviorist power assessment. Next, the analyst should render a judgment regarding the

outcome of the interactions of the likely behavior of the primary actor, the target of

influence, and the other relevant actors. As noted earlier, an actors goal in an influence

attempt is the desired level of a certain type of behavior by the target of influence. An

influence attempt consists of activities undertaken by the primary actor to shift the behavior

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of the target o f influence to a particular level and o f activities undertaken by the target and

other relevant actors to prevent such a shift. If activities undertaken by state A cause state

B to alter this behavior to the level desired by A, state A can be said to have the power to

achieve the goal of his influence attempt. If B presents sufficient resistance to frustrate A s

efforts, A is said not to have the power to attain his goal. For example, Chinas influence

attempt, as a rising power, is to establish itself as a responsible international cooperator in

the eyes of other countries. In behaviorist terms, the goal is to reduce its threat image in

the minds o f its neighboring countries and other major power like the US. The question is

whether Chinas activities could succeed in changing the USs impression over time to that

desired level.

First of all, the analyst must render a judgment regarding the quality of A s doctrine.

If operating under a flawed doctrine, A literally might not know what instrumental goals

must be achieved in order to reach its overall goal. The analyst must find out what are the

necessary and sufficient instrumental goals in such a context and compare those goals with

ones contained in state A s doctrine. In the China case, the analyst may find out the

following three instrumental goals that China must achieve to improve its image around the

world: (1) to transmit its culture globally in order to be attractive to others; (2) to stabilize

its domestic politics and focus on the modernization process; and (3) to implement efficient

foreign polices in order to be seen as legitimate and having moral authority. If Chinas

actions included only the third instrumental goal, it would almost certainly lack the power

to achieve its goal because the third instrumental goal is, to some extent, based on the first

and second instrumental goals. Without a globally attractive culture and stabilized

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domestic situations, no matter how efficient its foreign policy might be, Chinas influence

attempt would likely fail.

Assuming that state A s doctrine was flawless, at least according to the analysts

judgment, the next step requires the analyst to present the doctrine-based instrumental goals

as behavioral indices. Each instrumental goal can be viewed as a stream of behavior. We

use the following three cases to explain doctrine-based instrumental goals: the number of

foreign students studying in state A, the correspondence of the provincial leaders political

values and policies to the top leaderships political values and policies, and major disputes

with its neighboring countries. Figure 3.3-3.8 portrays the level of these three types of

behavior in a given time. The primary actor is state A, and the target B of influence are the

number of foreign students, provincial leaders correspondence, and number of major

disputes in its foreign relations with neighboring countries. Each case has a desired level

of such behavior, which can be depicted as the ends of the continuums. The point

indicating B s actual behavior is also shown. At subsequent points in time, the movement

of the level of B s behavior as a result of As activities toward As desired level serves as a

rough measure o f A s progress. If A s actions caused the indicators on each index to move

closer to the point o f state A s goal, state A would have fulfilled the necessary and

sufficient conditions for showing its improving behaviorist power.

Finally, the analyst should render a judgment about the likely course of the case.

Would state A s activities be able over time to move B s behavior further to the levels

desired by A? Or are A s efforts vulnerable to important failures of doctrine, gaps in

capabilities, mismatches between instruments of power, or weakness in will? In the above

oversimplified cases, as showed in Figure 3.3-3.8, state A has advanced in all three

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Figure 3.3-3.8 Indices for Hypothetical Instrumental Goals


State A's Foreign Relations with Neighboring Countries in Year One
(number of major disputes)

State A's Goal The Other States Behavior

0
I S 10
i 1S 20 25

State A s Foreign Relations with Neighboring Countries in Year Two


(number of major disputes)

State A's Goal The Other States' Behavior

I l
0 5 10 15 20 25

State A's Governmental Cohesion in Year One


(number of top provincial leaders who correspond actively with top leaders)

Provincial Leaders' Behavior Top Leader A's Goal

0 10 20
.___________________ .___________________ .___________________ .___________________.___________________.___________________ .___________________ ._________________

30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
I
State A's Governmental Cohesion in Year Two
(number of top provincial leaders who corespond actively with top leaders)

Top Leader A's Goal


I
I
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

State A s Global Cultural Attractiveness in Year One


(number of foreign students studying in State A every year) (thousands)

Foreign Students' Behavior State A's Goal

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000

State A's Global Cultural Attractiveness in Year Two


(number of foreign students studying in State A every year) (thousands)

Foreign Students' Behavior state A .s Goa,

100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000

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instrumental goals. Since there is strong evidence that As activities, at their present levels,

will create a trend toward the breakdown of Bs resistance, it can be concluded that that

state A does have the power to influence target B.

However, this model clearly will not produce a mathematical relationship

describing the relative power of each actor. Nor is it premised on the idea that such a

relationship can be measured with such precision. Instead, it provides analysts with a

method to grapple with the inherently non-mathematical data o f power. It will not yield a

demonstrative proof o f the relative power of the two sides. But it outlines the essential

behaviorist variables, provides a process that guides the collection of behaviorist data, and

controls the behaviorist analysis of the influence attempt. It ultimately depends on

judgments made by the analyst, but if used effectively, it has by that point narrowed the

range of plausible judgments and controlled the process by which they are to be reached.

In chapter VIII and chapter IX, this dissertation will follow this behaviorist model to

analyze the relevant data and discuss the effects of Chinas policies to improve its national

image and how China wields its soft power around the world.

Soft Power Conversion Model

Since Nye first introduced the concept of soft power, this term has quickly entered public

discourse, being used frequently by world leaders, editorial writers and academics around

the world. However, it also received many criticisms from other IR theorists. For

example, as discussed in the above, Lukes gives some criticism about the limited analytical

leverage in Nyes concept of soft power. Nyes concept of soft power lacks appeal to the

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neo-realists who seek more rigorous bases for measuring its effects as well as to the

constructivists who may see his emphasis on the subjective preferences of states as coming

at the expense o f a focus on the more profound reconstitution of state identities. It is fair to

predict that the neo-realists would treat soft power as merely lagging hard power, and the

constructivists would treat the power to redefine preferences as less important than

constitutional efforts to redefine such systemic properties as the meaning of sovereignty

itself (Widmaier 2004: 427-445). Also, some IR theorists point out that power conversion

is also a problem for N yes concept of soft power. For example, a new article challenges

the fundamental principle of soft power - soft power works by convincing others to follow

based on the appeal ones ideas - by asking the following questions: what exactly is it that

makes an idea attractive or appealing in the first place? Attraction or a rather subjective

experience, which raises the question of what makes something or someone alluring to

some and not to others (Mattem 2005: 583-612).

To be fair, Nye doesnt design a clear and persuasive model to explain how states

convert potential soft power resources to realized power - the changed behavior of others.

To some extent, even Nye has admitted, the utility of soft power depends on the existence

of hard power (Nye 2004a: 26). The very nature of soft power makes its measurement a

challenging enterprise. The intangible qualities of culture, ideology and institutions that

constitute soft power are more difficult to measure than tangible resources such as military

and economic strength. If tangible military power cannot provide a reliable measure of

national (let alone non-state actors) power, those intangible qualities of culture, values,

ideology and institutions that constitute soft power are even more difficult to measure.

Hard power, and in particular military power, is most effective in the world where definite

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lines can be drawn between us and them, possessors of only soft power are notably

ineffective in the face of such boundaries. Therefore, the problem of power conversion is

one of important factors complicating the assessment of soft power and limiting the

analytical leverage o f Nyes soft power theory.

In recognizing this problem, Nye suggests that whether a particular asset is a soft-

power resource that produces attraction can be measured by asking people through polls or

focus groups (Nye 2004a: 6). Following Nye, I will rely on various structured and focused

surveys to evaluate the development of Chinas soft power. Since popularity can be

ephemeral and may not truly reflect a countrys ability to influence others thoughts, their

world views, and the issues they consider fundamentally salient, I will supplement those

polls with specific indicators such as the size of international students and the number of

inbound foreign tourists. Country A can be said to have acquired significant soft power

when other countries elites start sending their sons and daughters to the country for higher

education. The problem is, how do we know that this reflects the attractiveness of country

A s values and institutions vis-a-vis those of other countries, rather than just utilitarian

concerns (e.g., job and trade opportunities)? With its focus on inducement, for example,

the lure of trade and market is essentially an exercise of hard power. For the concept of

soft power to be analytically useful, I may need to differentiate it from pure economic

strength. This will not be a problem for a country that does not have a rapidly expanding

economy - genuine soft power could withstand a series of sustained economic downturn.

But for a country that is experiencing miraculous economic growth, economic prowess

contributes not only to wealth but also to reputation and attractiveness (Nye 2004a: 33).

Throughout the 1980s, for example, corporate executives in the US sought guidance from

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Japan on everything from quality circles to just-in-time delivery control, while its

success story became a major point of reference for literature on management and global

capitalism (Kenny and Florida 1993). To address this measurement problem, multiple

indicators are not sufficient. I also need to be constantly aware o f the difference between

inducement and attraction. The former is an exercise of hard power in that it takes

preferences for given and acts directly on behavior, whereas the latter implies the use of

soft power in that a reward is offered for the purpose of changing behavior via a change of

preference (Elster 1992: 140). A countrys economic clout reinforces its soft power if other

countries are attracted to it for reasons more than just trade or market access.

Regarding the problem of power conversion, Nye admits that power resources

become less fungible or less transferable from sphere to sphere (Nye 2002c). Not only is

power at different levels not always convertible, but also power resources do not

automatically translate into effective influence or compliance. The best endowed with

power do not always get their desired outcomes. Power is usually defined as both having

the capabilities to affect the behavior of others to make those things happen and the

ability to influence the behavior of others to get the outcomes one wants (Nye 2004a: 1-2).

Obviously, based on the first definition - possession of the capabilities to affect the

behavior of others to make those things happen, assessment o f soft power can be

implemented by the attribute approach of power analysis. The criteria o f assessing soft

power can be simply concluded as the following Nye argument about what kind of

countries will gain soft power in an information age:

The countries that are likely to gain soft power in an information age are those
whose dominant culture and ideas are closer to prevailing global norms (which
emphasize liberalism, pluralism, and autonomy); those with the most access to
multiple channels o f communication and thus more influence over how issues are

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ffamed; and those whose credibility is enhanced by their domestic and international
performance. These dimensions of power in an information age suggest the growing
importance o f soft power in the mix of power resources, and a strong advantage to
the United States (Nye 2002c).

Although Nye has not set up a clear power conversion model in his works on soft power,

we may look for alternative answer from Keohane and Nyes theoretical works on the

school of neo-liberalism, especially their discussion about the concept international

regime. The work o f Keohane and Nye formed the core of an approach to study global

governance - regime theory. They argued:

The structure o f the system (the distribution of power resources among states)
profoundly affects the nature of the regime (the more or less loose set of formal and
informal norms, rules, and procedures relevant to the system). The regime in turn
affects, and to some extent governs the political bargaining and daily decision
making that occurs within the system (Keohane and Nye 1977: 21).

In other words, power conversion model can be established on the basis of the structural

approach o f power analysis as the followed Figure 3.9:

Figure 3.9 Power Conversion Model in Structural Approach

Power > Regimes Behavior

As for the role o f regime in soft power conversion, Nye implies that soft power can

be affected by the structure of international system, which comprises of international

norms, rules and institutions. Co-optive power is the ability of a country to structure a

situation so that other countries develop preferences or define their interests in ways

consistent with its own. This power tends to arise form such resources as cultural and

ideological attraction as well as the rules and institutions of international regimes. As Nye

points out, The skeptics who want to define power only as deliberate acts of command and

control are ignoring the second, or structural, face of power - the ability to get the

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outcomes you want without having to force people to change their behavior through threats

or payments (Nye 2004a: 15).

Therefore, a favorable international system structure is an important source of its

soft power. In contrast, realists contend that the middle component (regime) is

unnecessary, and that in fact a fair proportion of the behavior of nations at the systemic

level, whether that be political, economic, or military, might be understood as a function of

the structure o f the international system and can be understood with little or no reference to

either the concept or the potential existence of international regimes (Sullivan 1990: 194-

195). They challenge the neo-liberal model of power conversion that regimes are less

useful than power in explaining the variances in behavior. Even for neo-realist theorist

Waltz, it is the distribution o f power, particularly the number of major powers, which is all-

important (Waltz 1979: 113). So for realists, there are no rules, norms, mutual expectations

or principles of practice prior to or independent of actors, their essential ends and their

capabilities (Ashley 1984: 245). In defending the importance of international regimes in

power conversion from potential resources to the effects on outcomes or the changed

behavior of others, Keohane wrote:

From a theoretical standpoint, regimes can be viewed as intermediate factors, or


intervening variables, between fundamental characteristics of world politics such
as the international distribution of power on the one hand and the behavior of states
and non-state actors such as the multinational cooperation on the other... (Regime
norms and rules can influence behavior) even if they do not embody common ideals
but are used by self-interested states and corporations engaging in a process of
mutual adjustment (Keohane 1984: 64).
International regimes provide both of these objectives, by providing rules that
constitute standards for evaluating state behavior and by facilitating the
establishment of contacts among governments that help to provide information not
merely about policies but intentions and values. Both the value of a reputation for
reliability and the gains to be made from providing high-quality information to
others challenge the traditional Realpolitik ideal of the autonomous, hierarchical

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state that keeps its options open and its decision making processes closed...
(Keohane 1984: 259)

Theoretically, if a country is attractive, others are more willingly to follow. Yet the

resources o f soft power wont automatically translate into desired policy outcomes. This

gap between power measured as resources and power judged as the desired outcomes leads

to a series o f questions: How do we know that a change in country Bs foreign policy

behavior is the result of country A s exercise of soft power, not something else? In what

ways resources o f hard power (e.g., economic clout) are translated into attractiveness and

reputation? What combination of the soft power resources and the international context is

necessary for the maximization of the effectiveness of soft power? To address these

questions, I need a causal mechanism explaining how states convert potential soft power

resources to realized power or the changed preference/behavior of others. As Jon Elster

put it, a causal mechanism is important for social science theorizing not because it can be

universally applied to predict and control social events, but because it embodies a causal

chain that is sufficiently general and precise to serve as a model for understanding other

cases not yet encountered (Elster 1993: 5). Without providing such a mechanism, Nye

leaves himself no choice but to judge whether soft power resources produce desired policy

outcomes in particular cases (Nye 2004a: 6). To remedy this problem, based on the

above discussions, I construct a simple model that connects soft power resources to policy

outcome:

As shown in Figure 3.10, country A may have various combinations of soft power

resources to tap into. They include, but are not limited to, cultural attractiveness, appeal of

political institutions, and diplomatic finesse. These potential soft power resources can have

their impact felt by the political actor like political elites, interest groups, and general

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public in country B. Assuming the international context favors the projection of soft power

(e.g., lack o f viable competition from other countries), country ^ s reputation, image and

influence would be viewed in a positive manner in country B, which, in turn, would prompt

policy actors in country B to be in tune with A s views, approaches, and values in the

decision making process. Country A is said to be able to achieve desired policy outcomes

if B directly supports A s foreign policy, or implements policies that are in A s interests, or

looks to A for leadership and guidance. The foreign policy success is likely to be translated

into more soft power resources for future use.

Figure 3.10 From Soft Power Resources to Desired Policy Outcomes

In te rn a tio n a l c o n te x t

C o u n try P o lic y C o u n try B s D e s ire d


A s s o ft a c to rs in p o lic y p o lic y
p o w e r C o u n try p ro c e s s o u tc o m e s
re s o u rc e s

Since soft power mainly rest on the attractiveness of ones ideas or culture, or the

ability to set agenda through standards and institutions and shape the preferences of others,

attraction becomes the key in the process of changing the resources of soft power into

effects on outcom es. I set up a sub-m odel to explain how attraction happens in soft

power conversion process. There are three levels of policy actors in which attraction

functions directly or indirectly (See Table 3.1). Also, unlike the traditional approach,

resources of power are not solely confined to attributes of state but include resources that

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emerge from all kinds of exchanges that occur among power givers, interpreters and

receivers. With this relational approach, a state does not have abstract power in and of

itself, but only power in its relations to another actor or actors in the international system

(Keohane and Nye 1987). In reality, the superior power of a nation is derived not only

from its own qualities, but also from its comparison with other actors. The ideal attribute

of relations between states is that a state may achieve the outcomes it prefers in world

politics because other countries want to follow its example or agenda.

Table 3.1: Attraction in Soft Power Conversion Model

Objects of Attraction Most Likely Resources


1st Level Political elites of foreign countries policies, culture and values
2nd Level Interest groups of foreign countries values, policies and culture
3rd Level General public of foreign countries culture, values and policies

At the first level, the attraction pointing to the political elites of foreign countries

will have direct effects on those countries behavior and have most impacts on those

governments policies. For example, the French President Chirac has strong personal

interest in Chinas traditional culture, the Brazilian President Lula admires Chinas success

in reducing national poverty, Russian and Indian leaders are fond of Chinas experience of

attracting FDI, and the Vietnamese Communist Party is a loyal pupil of Chinese

Communist Partys theories of socialist market economy.

At the second level, the attraction pointing to interest groups will have indirect

effects on those countries behavior and have the most impact on those peoples values.

Some major interest groups establish special organizations that are in charge of expanding

their domestic and international broadcast power through news agency, radio, international

TV program, and thus influence governments and other interest groups opinion. To attract

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these interest groups, the best way is to address their topics of interest and create favorable

public opinion. For example, China set up special organizations that are in charge of

expanding its international broadcast power through news agencies, radio, TV programs;

publishing white paper around the sensitive issues like human rights, environmental

protection, intellectual property protection, national defense, etc.

At the third level, the attraction pointing to general public will have indirect effects

on those countries behavior and have the most impact on those countries culture. For the

targets, a countrys successful foreign policy like disaster relief will win the minds of the

people in those countries; close cultural exchange will produce significant friendliness from

the people of those countries; and attractive political values and efficient governance will

improve its own image in the people of those countries. In the China case, an example of

successful foreign policy to win others minds was Chinas unprecedented large-scale

governmental and public tsunami relief campaign. The other special foreign policies to

Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa include the enhanced efforts at cultural

exchange, global popularization of Chinese language, welcome more foreign students and

tourists to China, etc.

Relationship between Soft Power and Hard Power

Besides the problem of power conversion, there are some other challenges for using Nyes

soft power theory in the current realm of international politics. One obvious problem is the

relationship between soft power and hard power. It is quite clear that Nye has not

explained clearly how to differentiate the effects of hard power and soft power. Regarding

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this problem, the relevant question is: if state A has the ability to influence the behavior of

state B to get the outcomes that country A wants, how can we decide which effects on

outcomes are achieved by the coercion and inducement of hard power and which effects

are achieved by the attraction and agenda-setting of soft power? Before discussing this

question, it is necessary to review what Nye writes about the relationship between soft

power and hard power. He argued: Hard and soft power are related and can reinforce each

other.. .soft power is not simply the reflection of hard power.. .Both are aspects of the

ability to achieve ones purpose by affecting the behavior of others (2004a: 25-30).

As to the limits of soft power, many critics point out two new issues that involve the

relationship between soft power and hard power. First, although Nye frequently uses his

soft power argument to criticize the Bush administrations foreign policy, the approach of

soft power has already showed its own dilemma of utility in the policy world - American

policymakers have not paid much attention to it. After 9.11, the US has implemented a

series of unilateral foreign policies, which are based on hard power, in its Iraq War and

global campaign against international terrorism. In arguing that nations interdependence

provides them with a rational, self-interested motives for cooperation, neo-liberalists

effectively adopt realisms belief that the primary determinants of a states behavior are its

interests, rather than its ideals. An implicit corollary to this assertion is the idea that

nations judge their rivals primarily according to their interests rather than their ideals

(Wendt 1992).45 If one adopts such a position, a logical extension of it would be the belief

45 According to Alexander Wendt, neo-realists and neo-liberals share generally similar


assumptions about agents, in which states are the dominant actors in the system, and they
define security in self-interested terms. And both groups take the self-interested state as
the starting point for theory.

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that soft power is fragile, since it rests on self-interest rather than goodwill. Even the

limited unilateralist behavior can erase the goodwill that attractive culture, political values

and foreign policies create.

Second, although soft power may prove effective in intra-westem disputes, it seems

less effective when the West faces conflict across what Samuel Huntington has identified

as civilization barriers.46 On the one hand, if conflict arises outside the West, which often

escalates into wars, the issue becomes in the first instance an American problem. While

other western powers usually have the option of being involved or not based on their

interests, the US, as the only status quo power, has the responsibility to intervene. On

the other hand, todays postmodern mass culture can be repulsive as well as attractive.

Obviously, American popular culture is hardly appealing to those in the socially

conservative Muslim world. Even Nye acknowledges the limits of soft power:

Popular culture is more likely to attract people and produce soft power in the sense
of preferred outcomes in situations where cultures are somewhat similar rather than
widely dissimilar... Soft power is also likely to be more important when power is
dispersed in another country rather than concentrated. ... Although soft power
sometimes has direct effects on specific goals, it is more likely to have an impact on
the general goals that a country seeks (Nye 2004a: 15-17).

Regarding the above challenges that soft power is facing in explaining or solving

the issues in the current world, Nye argued that all power has limits, and soft power is no

exception. In the American case of the Iraq War and global anti-terrorism campaign, Nye

conducts a careful analysis of the shortcomings of unilateralism and reliance solely on

46 Huntingtons civilization approach posits the following: Spurred by modernization,


global politics is being reconfigured along cultural lines. People and countries with similar
cultures are coming apart forming alignments defined by culture and civilization. Political
boundaries increasingly are redrawn to coincide with cultural ones: ethnic, religious, and
civilizational.. .The world, in short, is divided between a Western one and a non-Westem
many. See Huntington, Clash o f Civilizations.

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military power in confronting the threat posed by Islamic extremists. Although Nye gives

some credit to President Bush and his neoconservative advisers in their projection of hard

military and economic power, he stresses that how the Bush Administration casts their

blindness to the significance of soft power has seriously undermined Americas hard power

(Nye 2004a: 128-134; 2004b; 2004c). Nye also points out that soft power - the ability to

get what you want through attraction rather than coercion - is cultivated through relations

with allies, economic assistance and cultural exchanges with other countries, projecting a

sense that US behavior corresponds with its rhetorical support for democracy and human

rights and, more generally, maintaining favorable public opinion and credibility abroad.

The go-it-alone approach, Nye argues, has led to an unprecedented drop in support for

the US abroad, which leaves the US scrambling to rebuild Iraq almost single-handedly,

overstretching itself militarily and economically. It also hampers the efforts to secure the

voluntary cooperation of foreign governments essential to dismantling terrorist cells spread

throughout the globe. The answer, Nye says, lies in a return to the mix of soft and hard

power that cemented the Western alliance and won the Cold War. Finally, Nye concluded,

Every country should develop both hard power and soft power, and one without the other

would not be effective.. .Winning the peace is harder than winning a war, and soft power is

essential to winning the peace (Nye 2004a: 129).

According to Nye, hard command power may be followed by the change of

behavior of others, but this may not prove your power if the behavior change is compatible

with the latters pre-held preference. Soft power rests on the attraction of ones idea or on

the ability to set the political agenda in a way that shapes the preferences that other

express (Nye 1990a: 31). However, all power depends on context - who relates to whom

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under what circumstances - but soft power depends more than hard power upon the

existence of willing interpreters and receivers. Moreover, attraction often has a diffuse

effect of creating general influence, rather than producing an easily observable specific

action (Nye 2004a: 16). Therefore, it may be concluded that soft power and hard power are

closely related and cannot be separated, but they are not established on the foundations of

each other, that is, they have their own specific power resources.

The outcomes in international politics and economy are always the result of the

combined function o f both hard power and soft power. In some cases, hard power

obviously plays a major role in reaching the results. For example, Chinas influence on

North Korea is mainly based on the inducement of Chinas enormous economic aid and

coercion o f USs military threat. In some cases, soft power plays a dominant role in

reaching the results. Thousands of Chinese students have flooded into the Western

countries for study since the end of the 1970s, possibly because they are attracted by the

high culture o f those countries. In many cases, it is difficult to tell. For example, the

coalition forces quick occupation of Iraq in 2002, arguably, could be attributed either to its

advanced weapon system, or to the Iraq peoples desire for freedom and American-style

democracy.47 On the one hand, if the development of soft power is overlooked, it is

difficult for hard power to maintain its sustained development. On the other hand, while

soft power needs substantial media, many physical products carry rich cultural contents and

express broad cultural information. Therefore, soft power and hard power correlate with,

improve and confine each other in strong complementarities.

47 Many international observers argued that they had not seen many public cries for
democracy since the Iraq War began. Most Shiite welcomed military occupation in the
beginning of the Iraq War just because they wanted to get back their rights from Sunni,
which was deprived under Husseins rule.

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Chapter IV Chinese Views of Soft Power and the Rise of China

Since its inception, Nyes soft power theory has primarily been associated with the case of

the US, the only status quo power in the current world. Therefore, to what extent can this

theory be applied to other countries, especially those rising powers? Before I apply the soft

power theory to the China case, it is necessary to find out whether the concept of soft

power has been accepted by Chinese government and academia. Also, although it is Nye

who first coined the term o f soft power, such ideas as co-optive power have always been

generally supported by not only current Chinese political values and foreign strategies, but

also ancient Chinese ideology and culture. In this chapter, I will make some theoretical and

empirical connections between the concept of soft power and my case study - the current

rise of China, introduce the rise of China, and Chinas perceptions and responses to its own

ascendancy in the globalization age.

Views of Soft Power in China

For over two millennia the idea of soft power has been consistently advocated and

comprehensively utilized by ancient Chinese elites. It is very easy to find the idea of soft

power in Chinas ancient philosophies. For example, Confucianism, which functioned as

48 It has been recognized by Western international relations theorists that since the time of
Mo Zi and Sun Tzu in ancient China, idealism has provided a counter point to realism. This
long tradition of idealism in IR olds that: morality, law, and international organization can
form the basis for relations among states; human nature is not evil; peaceful and
cooperative relations among states are possible; and states can operate as a community
rather than merely as autonomous self-interested agents. See Joshua S. Goldstein and Jon

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Chinas dominant ideology for more than two thousand years, advocates that a state should

obtain its lead status by setting example, and opposes imposition of ones values on others.

Confucius (551-479 B.C.) preaches the golden rule of means, advising do unto others as

you would have them do unto you. Mencius, another great Confucian thinker, believed that

a benevolent king has no rivals in the world and could easily win the support of the masses,

including the oppressed people in other countries. Mo Zi, the founder of Mohism and the

advocate o f the doctrine of non-offense, argued that offensive uses of force would sow the

seeds of long-standing conflicts like theft and murder. Influenced by these ancient

philosophies, ancient Chinese governors historically preferred to defuse security threats

internally through moral government, i.e., the benevolent king set a good example for his

people (Johnston 1995: 118).

When dealing with external relations, Chinas ancient military strategies

emphasized diplomatic maneuvering rather than military confrontation. For example, the

ideas of culture winning over an enemy and winning a battle before it is fought are

traceable throughout Chinas strategic culture. In his masterpiece - The Art o f War,

Chinas ancient military strategist Sun Tzu, a b^-century B.C. nobleman, put forward his

famous idea that it is better to attack the enemys mind than to attack his fortified cities.

Sun Tzu advocated that attacking an enemys strategy is the best way to achieve victory,

followed by, in descending order, attacking his alliances, attacking his troops and lastly,

attacking his fortified cities. He stated, .. .To gain a hundred victories in a hundred battles

is not the highest excellence; to subjugate the enemys army without doing battle is the

highest of excellence. Therefore, the best warfare strategy is to attack the enemys plans,

C. Pevehouses book o f International Relations, which is the most popular textbook about
international relations in the United States.

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next is to attack alliances, next is to attack the army, and the worst is to attack a walled

city. The sources of Sun Tzus victory are similar to what we currently define as soft

power - peoples rationality, morality, values and aspirations, which are embedded in the

particular cultural tradition in which people define themselves. The proof of the

connections between the idea o f soft power and Chinas ancient culture can be found in

Johnstons summary about the characteristics of Chinas strategic culture:

(1) a theoretical and practical preference for strategic defense.. .accompanied by


dipomatic intrigue and alliance building rather than the invasion, subjugation, or
extermination of the adversary; (2) a preference for limited war, or the restrained
application o f force for clearly enunciated political ends; and (3) an apparently low
estimation o f the efficacy of violence, as embodied for instance in Sun Zis oft-cited
phrase, not fighting and subduing the enemy is the supreme level of skill
(Johnston 1995: 25).

In the modem era, before the end of Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), China was

completely shut out of the discursive interchanges on international relations as a discipline

and its theoretical and methodological contentions in the West. Chinese scholars were

totally insulated, for example, from the first two great debates in international relations.

Therefore, international relations as a recognized discipline in China has seen most of its

growth only in the last two decades (Wang 1999). In the late 1980s and early 1990s,

Chinese scholars were able to study state-of-the-art Western IR theories when translations

of the fields classic texts were made available in China for the first time (Zhang 2000).

During this process, two works published in the early 1980s stand out now in Chinas

initial engagement with the Western IR theories.49 Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye and

49 In 1981, Chen Lemin, a research fellow in the Institute of Western European Studies of
Chinese Academy o f Social Sciences (CASS), published A Brief Introduction to
Contemporary Studies o f IR in the West (Xiandai Xifang Guoji Guanxixue Jianjie) in
International Studies (Guoji Wenti Yanjiu), a journal by the Institute of International
Studies (Guoji Wenti Yanjiu Suo), a think-tank of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In his

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their theoretic works on IR structure - interdependence - were formally introduced to

Chinese scholars in these two works.

Although neo-liberalism, which de-emphasizes the role of the state in international

relations, has been given scant attention in Chinas (Marxist) realism-dominated IR field,

Nyes concept of soft power has been an exception to the rule. The concept of soft power

was quickly introduced in China after Nye coined it in 1990.50 The theory gained influence

among many young scholars. In early Chinese literature on the subject, soft power versus

hard power was usually referred to as mental power versus material power (Zhu 2002: 20).

In early 1990s, the ideological elite of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) believed that

such mental power was a major tool with which Western countries implemented their

strategies of peaceful evolution against non-Western countries, and had played an

short essay, Chen offers a sweeping review of the state of the art of IR studies in the Anglo-
American IR community up to the late 1970s. He notes the debates and contentions,
theoretical as well as methodological, from idealism to behaviourialism and introduces
such analytical concepts as national interests and interdependence. He quotes Morton
Kaplan and Ole Holsti about international structures and systems and writes with interest
(and a little bemusement) about simulation, games theory and prisoners dilemma
employed the analysis o f international relations. His short bibliography includes E. H. Carr,
Karl Deutsch, Joseph Frankel, James Rosenau, Ramond Aron, Ole Holsti, Morton Kaplan,
William Coplin and Charles Kegley, and of course, Marx and Engels. The other is a book
by Chen Hanwen entitled On the World Stage: A Concise Introduction to Contemporary IR
Studies in the West (Zai Guoji Wutai Shang: Xifang Xiandai Guoji Guanxixue Qianshuo) It
was published by Sichuan Peoples Press in 1985. As a quick glance at the table of contents
reveals, Chens introduction is systematic. He discusses the evolution o f IR as an academic
discipline and realism cum power, national interests and geopolitics as dynamics in states
behaviour. He writes about theoretical approaches to foreign policy decision making,
nuclear deterrence, as well as crisis management. The systems and structures in
international relations, interdependence and integration (from functionalism to
communication theory and to integration theory) are respectively topics of discussion in the
last three chapters. Again, Deutsch, Kaplan, Holsti, Rosenau as well as Keohane and Nye
are among those evoked and quoted in the book. See Zhang, The English School in
China, 2000, 3-4.

50 Nyes first book about soft power - Bound to Lead - was translated by He Xiaodong and
published by Chinas Military Translation Press in 1992.

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important role in the collapse of the former Soviet Union. They even attributed the

influence o f Western culture and political values, important soft power resources, to

Chinas massive student movements in 1986 and 1989. As Deng said, The rampant

spread of bourgeois liberalization may have grave consequences.. .the imperialists are

pushing for peaceful evolution towards socialism in China, placing their hopes on the

generations that will come after us.51 Therefore, the CCP launched three waves of nation

wide campaigns for spiritual civilization and against bourgeois liberalization in order to

discredit Western political concepts and emphasize the importance of adhering to the Four

Cardinal Principles - to keep to the socialist road, to uphold the peoples democratic

dictatorship, to support leadership by the Communist Party, and to uphold Marxism-

Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. Neoliberalism is obviously one of those so-called

bourgeois political thoughts.

Until the middle o f the 1990s, as China gradually emerged from the shadow of the

Tiananmen Crackdown, Chinese government officials and scholars of international

relations had started to analyze the concept of soft power in an objective and

comprehensive way. Inheriting the traditional views from their ancient culture, current

Chinese scholars and policy makers view soft power as indispensable in their attempt to

increase Chinas comprehensive national strength (zonghe guoli) and regain the countrys

status as a leading world power. Chinese governments leaders have reiterated the

51 Excerpted from Deng Xiaopings talks given in Wuchang, Zhenzhen, Zhuhai and
Shanghai, January 18-February 21,1992.

52 Comprehensive national strength is notable for being an original Chinese political


concept with no roots in contemporary Western political theory, Marxism-Leninism or pre
twentieth century Chinese political thinking. Unlike most Western concepts of power,
comprehensive national power can be calculated numerically and there are a number of

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importance o f developing comprehensive national strength as the fundamental task of

socialism is to develop productive forces, enhance the comprehensive national strength of

our socialist country and improve the peoples living standards and in this way reflect the

superiority o f socialism over capitalism.53 For them, comprehensive national strength

should include economic power, scientific and technological power, defensive power, and

cultural power.54 A Chinese scholar who has been engaged in research on philosophy for

more than 20 years said: Various signs have indicated that since taking office, the new

Chinese leaders like Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao have attached greater importance on the

study of social sciences from a strategic vantage point, looking at it as an important

component o f the countrys soft power.55

For many Chinese social elites, Chinas development of soft power is increasingly

critical as a mechanism for realizing the dream of becoming a global power, especially

indices which combine various quantitative indices to create a single number which
purports to measure the power of a nation-state. These indices take into account military,
economic, political, cultural factors, and so on. This concept has become increasingly
popular among some second-tier countries like India, Brazil and Russia.

53 Quoted from Jiang Zemins keynote speech on the CCPs 80th anniversary ceremony that
was held in Beijing on July 1, 2001.

54 Ibid.

55 On 28 May, 2004, Li Chongfu, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,


gave a lecture on the question of promoting and developing Chinese philosophy and social
sciences to members of the Political Bureau of the CCP Central Committee. The humble
but enthusiastic learning atmosphere among the new CCP leadership left him with a very
deep impression. He recalled: Dressed in a dark jacket, General Secretary Hu Jintao was
seated just across the round table and he never stopping taking notes. After the talk, he was
the first to raise questions and also the last to leave. He even exchanged views with me for
some 10 minutes by the door of the Huairen Hall. See the relevant report of New PRC
Leadership Stresses Building Soft Power as Part o f Peaceful Rise, Wenweibao (Hong
Kong) 6 October 2004.

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since Chinas hard power resources lag far behind the worlds major powers.56 After the

September 11 attacks, increasing numbers of international security scholars, including

many Chinese scholars, have paid much attention to asymmetric power. One the one hand,

it has become quite clear that in the current international system a status quo power such as

the US has become a magnet for those seeking to promote changes in the distribution of

power; on the other hand, it is the most susceptible to asymmetrical attacks. It has also

been widely believed that the Chinese military is studying the asymmetric responses to any

potential war they might engage in - including terrorism, drug-trafficking, environmental

degradation, and computer virus propagation. While China is developing its conventional

military capabilities, some Chinese strategic planners also see networks of globalization

and asymmetrical power opportunities as righting an imbalance of military capabilities.

They believe in the path to strategic great-power victory coming through the channels of

globalization - and the more complex these channels are, the better (Pomffet 1999).

Most Chinese policymakers believe that in the 21st century, the world is

increasingly developing into a multi-polar one with swift economic globalization, scientific

and technological improvements, and intensifying international competition over

comprehensive national strength. In the views of Chinas social elites, Chinas highest

development strategy is to seek to build comprehensive national strength while


C*7

maintaining internal stability. While China includes economic factors and soft power

measures into its indices to measure comprehensive national strength, China is intended

56 Although China has made great achievements in its economic development since 1978,
Chinas GDP per capita that reached the record high of 1,000 US dollars in 2004, still ranks
behind the 100th place in the world.

57 See the article written by Shi Zhihong, How the 'C hief Architect Designed Chinas
Image, Peoples Daily (China) 18 April 1994.

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to avoid making the same mistake of the Soviet Union in over-investing in the military at

the expense of the civilian economy and domestic stability. In short, intensified

competition over comprehensive national strength in todays world involves not only

tangible power resources, but also intangible power resources, which has become a

strategic option for many countries to strengthen their international influence and

competitiveness.

Besides Chinas specific attention towards comprehensive national strength,

within the debates about the soft power in China special attention has also been paid to the

national image (threat or prestige) in the era of globalization and the cultural component of

diplomacy (Wang 2004: 21-25). Most people think that a countrys history determines it

prestige. In the international system, prestige is the result of conviction and judgment,

which are both characteristic and durable. National image, defined as the evaluation given

to a country by the international community, is the result of the combined action o f public

communications and execution of foreign policy. With the increase in the frequency of

information exchanges and the complexity of international relations, the national image

directly influences the attitude of governments, international organizations and public

opinion as well as the formulation and execution of government policies (Fu 2004: 13-18).

National interest is the driving element that leads to the cultivation of a national image. To

achieve that, it assumes a combined and interdependent build-up of a countrys hard power

and soft power. Some countries are well thought of by others in spite of their small size

and power, and inversely some countries find their national interests compromised by a bad

national image, regardless of the countries actual influence in a regional situation (Nye

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2002b: 545-559). The effects of soft power resources on national image building will be

further discussed in the Chapter VIII.

In the minds o f the countrys social elites, China, as a developing country

undergoing both national-strength building and national-image building, should understand

the importance of the open-door policy and multiculturalism. The judgment o f culture

and political values is related to cultural and educative progress rather than to any kind of

Westernization. Cultural diversity will help a country win global prestige, while cultural

conservatism will only put a country into isolation and hinder a countrys national image

building. Once the distinction between notions of unity and diversity are made, China

would offer an incontestable contribution to diversified international unification while

contributing efficiently to countering the western cultural monism (Yu 2004: 20-26). As

the former Chinese President Jiang said, .. .the diversity of the world should be respected,

which means every nation has its rights to choose its own social systems, development

strategies and life styles which conform to its national conditions; developing relations of

states should transcend the differences of social systems and ideologies by mutual respect

and friendly coexistence and seeking the convergence of common interests (Jiang 1997:

46-49).

Chinas Self-perception of its Rise

As China is strengthening its national power and pursuing its new place in world affairs,

the question of stability and change in the international system has always been a major

controversial issue in the study of international relations. Though it seems that everyone

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agrees that China will increasingly play a more important role in global affairs, the

consensus on the approach and future of the nations ascent has yet to be reached in the

international community, and even among Chinas social elites. While there are different

views about the current rise of China, most Chinese scholars, including many foreign China

observers, from the perspective of historical evolution, believe that Chinas modernization

process is, in nature, a process of reemergence. Neither is it the first rise of China in

history, nor will it be the last time. China has a history of economic supremacy, having

been the worlds largest economy for much of the last 700 years beginning around the year

1000A.D. Even as recently as the early 1820s, just twenty years before the first Opium

War, Chinas GDP still accounted for one third o f the world GDP (Yan 2001: 33-39). In

Chinas history, there were four eras when China rose to become the most powerful and

prosperous country in the w orld:59

The first era was the Qin-Han unification of the first feudal empire that lasted from

the 3rd century B.C. to the 3rd century A.D. It was noted for westward territorial expansion

and use of the Silk Road for contact with the western Asia and the Roman Empire.60

58 A brief survey o f titles among the books published by some China observers in 1990s
indicates a general faith that China has been reemerging. For John Gittings, China was
changing face (1990); Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn (1994) considered it waking;
William Overholt (1993) saw it emerging as the the next economic superpower and
David Shambaugh viewed it evolving into a Greater China (1995).

59 See Wang Gungwus arguments about Chinas ascendancies in history. As Wang points
out, the current Chinas ascendancy is not the first time in history that China has risen, but
the fourth such instance after China had risen in the Qin-Han, Sui-Tang, and Ming-Qing
dynasties.

60 Around 130 B.C., the Chinese emperor became interested in developing relations with
some central Asian countries and the ambassador Zhang Qian was sent there to obtain an
alliance with the Yuezhi against the Xiong-Nu. Afterwards, commercial relations had been
strengthened, and the Silk Road essentially came into being following Chinas efforts to

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Parts of what is now northern Vietnam and northern Korea were annexed by China toward

the end of the 2nd century B.C. During the Han dynasty, the tributary system also emerged,

wherein peace was maintained with non-Chinese states in exchange for symbolic

acceptance of Han rule.

The second era was the Sui-Tang reunification that lasted from 581 to 907 A.D.

Following a series o f tribal invasions and the further expansion of Chinese territory, the

apex of ancient Chinese civilization was reached during the Tang dynasty. China, for the

first time, asserted political and economic dominance over all of the Far East, including

current Japan, the Korea Peninsula, and parts of Southeast Asia. Tangs cultural influence

over its neighboring countries was much bigger than the Han.

The third era was the occupation of the Mongols and the establishment of Yuan

dynasty from 1279 to 1368, which represented the shortest but most powerful rise in China

history. Not only was Chinas territory expanded to the largest ever, but also commerce

revived and a literary renaissance blossomed. The Mongol rulers ensured that China

maintained contacts and cultural exchanges with the West. European Christian

missionaries were allowed free rein in China and people in western China were

increasingly converted to Muslims by the Islamic influences from the Central Asia.

The last era in which China rose to the status quo power before entering the modem

history in 1840 was the early period of the Qing dynasty from the late 17th century to the

end of 18th century, which was the weakest rise in Chinese history. During this period, the

consolidate a road to the Western world and India, both through direct immigrant
settlements and diplomatic relations development. By the 1st century A.D., a maritime Silk
Road opened up between Chinese-controlled Jiaozhi (centered in current Vietnam). It
extended, via ports on the coasts of India and Sri Lanka, all the way to Roman-controlled
ports in Egypt and the other territories on the northeastern coast of the Red Sea.

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Kangxi Emperor unified the empire and his reign was noted for its extensive peace and

prosperity; and the reign o f the Qianlong Emperor was noted for the territory expansion

through Tibet and Turkestan (currently Xingjiang), as well as the tributary nations of

Korea, Burma, Annam (current Vietnam) and Nepal.

Chinese people have always been proud of the manifold achievements in their

civilization that has enjoyed more than 5,000-year of continuity. Ancient Chinese named

their country the Middle Kingdom because they believed that China was the center of

the world mostly due to the holiness of its culture and ideology.61 In current China,

people call the period between the first Opium War (1840) and the end of W W II (1945)

one hundred years o f humiliation. Chinas social elites have always believed that China

would indeed become a superpower again in the foreseeable future. Not long after the

collapse of the Soviet Union, the idea of the rise of China has started to attract more and

more attention outside China. Mostly accompanied by the China Threat Theory, the term

of the rise of China was first developed by the foreign media that labeled China as a

potential superpower. During the last one and half centuries, Chinese leaders and

scholars, from Sim Yat-sen and Mao Zedong to the current Chinese leadership, frequently

labeled their dreams of Chinas rise as the rejuvenation o f China (zhenxing zhonghua). A

Chinese scholar pointed out that rejuvenation {zhenxing) referred to the psychological

power contained in the concept of Chinas rise to its former world status which can be seen

in two common assertions.

61 For centuries the Chinese saw their domain as the self-sufficient center of the universe
and all the foreigners came from the less developed societies along their land borders.
China believed itself surrounded on all sides by so-called barbarian peoples whose cultures
were demonstrably inferior by Chinese standards. This China-centered (sinocentric) view
of the world was still undisturbed in the 19th century when for the first time China
confronted the West.

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First, the Chinese regard their rise as regaining Chinas lost international status
rather than as obtaining something new. This psychological feeling results in the
Chinese being continuously dissatisfied with their economic achievements until
China resumes its superpower status. Second, the Chinese consider the rise of
China as a restoration of fairness rather than as gaining advantages over others.
With this concept, the Chinese people take the rise of their nation for granted. They
never concern themselves with the question of why China should be more advanced
than other nations, but rather frequently ask themselves the question o f why China
is not the number one nation in the world (Yan 2001: 33-39).

From the perspective o f territory unification or expansion, the current rise of China
th
after 100 years o f decline ending in the middle of the 19 century, 40 years of division

between 1911 and 1949, and 20 years of stagnation in the 1960s and 1970s, may be quite

different from the previous four historical ascendancies of China. Some Chinese scholars

argue that Chinas reunification will not be completed until Taiwan returns to the fold, and

the current division has become one of the biggest negative components of the fifth rise of

China.62 However, some other scholars refute the above arguments by pointing out that

during the most o f time in the last two millennia, in spite of several large-scale territorial

expansions, China had always placed its emphasis on defending its borders and

strengthening internal control, rather than on foreign conquest. In their views, China, as a

country that has strong introvert orientation, does not have a history of colonization, but

exploration; and China has focused on maintaining its existing territory rather than

expanding its territory since the Qing dynasty. Therefore, territory unification or expansion

cannot be regarded as a prerequisite for defining the rise of China. Moreover, Chinas

current modernization process focuses on economic development, rather than military

62 Some China observers believe that Beijings policies have turned the Taiwan issue into a
huge obstacle to Chinas rise as a great power. The higher Taiwan moves up Beijings
political and foreign policy agenda, the more Beijing raises tension in the region and in
relations with the United States. That tension could endanger Chinas main goal of
economic growth and development. See Yahuda, Chinas Taiwan Dilemma.

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buildup.63 In 2003, China exceeded the US as a top global destination for foreign direct

investment.64 In 2004, China has replaced the US as the worlds top consumer in the use of

four of the five basic food, energy and industrial commodities.65 Many economists predict

that Chinas economic size will overtake the US in the next 20 to 40 years, if it is measured

by purchasing power parities.66 To truly legitimize the government o f a country as large as

China, who is already a nuclear power and one of the five permanent members of the UN

Security Council, the most important thing is to improve its economic strength. Therefore,

from the perspective of strengthening internal development, Chinas modernization process

can be defined as the fifth rise of China.

63 Many foreign China observers argue that, given all its security considerations, especially
the Taiwan issue, various separatist movements in mainland China, the continuous
suspicion in China of Japans long-term peaceful intentions, and the newest issue of energy
supply, there seems little doubt that China will continue to mould the PLA into a highly
effective force capable o f making its presence felt in the surrounding region if need be.

64 According to World Investment Report 2004 issued by the United Nations Conference
on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), China attracted FDI worth US$53.5 billion in
2003, compared with US$52.7 billion in 2002. The FDI in the United States, traditionally
the largest recipient, plunged by 53 percent to reach US$30 billion in 2003.

65 According to the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute, a global environmental think


tank, growing at a rapid rate, China has taken the lions share in the consumption of grain,
meat, coal and steel, and loses out to the U.S. only in oil among the five basic commodities.
See Earth Policy Institutes Eco-Economy Updates, February 16, 2005

66 According to an article in Wall Street Journal, Predicting when China will achieve
economic primacy isnt an exact science; it depends heavily on assumptions about future
rates of growth and currency valuations, among other factors. When economists surveyed
last month by The Wall Street Journal were asked to predict when - if ever - this would
happen, the projections varied widely. Some economists said never while a few didnt
even bother to take a guess, but most economists said China will overtake the U.S. in the
next 20 to 40 years. See Hutzler, 2005.

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Chinas Global Strategy in its Rising Process

Great powers are not bom every day. Some of current ones - the US, Britain, France,

Germany, Russia - have been mostly the same for two centuries. The arrival of a new one

usually produces tension if not turmoil, as the newcomer tries to fit into the established

order or overturns it to suit its purposes (Zakaria 2005: 25-36). In international politics,

how a country rises often has more drastic consequences for the world than the rise itself.

The accompanying speed, ideology and impact on the international balance of power cause

other countries to harbor suspicion, caution, jealousy and fear, and can trigger antipathy.

The rise of China could trigger all of the above reactions. In both a uni-polar or multi-polar

international system, rising countries are easily subjected to restrictions and their good

reputation is important for determining their intentions as well as for improving their

international position. Moreover, Westerners who believe in democratic peace doubt

whether China can become a responsible power in the future, they prefer to recognize

Chinas ascendancy as a threat. Some scholars even argue that China is not rising and will

not rise given the myriad o f economic and social problems complicating its transition from

a planned to a market economy.

For the rising power who strives to look for reassuring responses from other

countries, the strategy o f reassurance has two objectives: to persuade or to dissuade so that

no opposition arises against the country in question; or to actively encourage the

development of cooperation. Once the fundamental interests of a rising country are

ensured, the positive channel of the emerging countries diplomatic strategy and o f efficient

confrontation will go through the diverse actions required by the international community -

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participating in international affairs, building a good reputation, reducing structural

pressure as well as pursing the development of national power. Chinese strategists clearly

feel a new global strategy is very necessary to guarantee the smooth rise of China. In

defining new global strategy, the goal is not conflict - vicious political animosity,

retaliatory trade war, and massive military buildup, but the avoidance of conflict - peaceful

ascendancy in the perspectives of political, economic and cultural influence (Ramo 2004:

37). This doctrine reflects a deeply held Chinese belief that armed conflict is an indication

of failure, which is every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.68 Therefore, for

China, the true success in strategic issues involves manipulating a situation so effectively

that the outcome is inevitably in the favor of Chinese interests (Ramo 2004: 38).

Based on their own understanding regarding the importance of soft power for its

modernization, Chinese leaders and scholars try to define its own ways to realize the fifth

rise of China. In the process o f searching for a new global strategy, China is transforming

its philosophy in foreign policy-making and emerging as an active player in the

international arena. On the one hand, arguably, China has already overcome its long-held

victim mentality and adopted a great power mentality instead.69 In recent years, China

67 See relevant reports by Yoichi Funabashi, China is preparing a peaceful ascendancy,


International Herald Tribune 30 December 2003; and Bruce Klingner, Peaceful rising
seeks to allay China threat Asia Times Online 12 March 2004.

68 According to Sun Zi, before doing battle, in the temple one calculates and will win,
because many calculations were made; before doing battle, in the temple one calculates and
will not win, because few calculations were made. See Art o f Wars.

69 As to what kind of mentality China has in its current foreign policy-making process,
there is disagreement among China observers. For example, Evan S. Medeiros and M.
Taylor Fravel presents the views that China has already overcome its long-held victim
mentality and started to adopt a great power mentality instead. In the China-Japan
diplomatic crisis that erupted in Spring 2005, China has been criticized that it cannot get rid

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has begun to take a less confrontational, more sophisticated, more confident, and, at times,

more constructive approach toward regional and global affairs (Medeiros and Fravel 2003).

On the other hand, the Chinese appears to be acutely aware o f the potential threat that its

rapidly growing economic power presents to the rest of Asia and the wider world, and has

mounted a well-designed diplomatic campaign to defuse the inevitable backlash from its

trading partners and rivals.70 From defining its new global strategy to building friendly

bilateral ties to promoting institutions for regional cooperation to taking a much more

active and responsible role in multilateral organizations, Chinas new diplomatic

maneuvers have been subtle but in the long run may serve to increase Chinese influence

throughout the world.

Since the middle o f 2003, Chinese officials and scholars enthusiastically argued

whether the concept o f Chinas peaceful rise (Zhongguo de hepingjueqi) should be

adopted as a motto for its rapidly expanding role in international politics.71 During his

address to Harvard University in November 2003, the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao

officially presented to the world Chinas confidence and determination in its peaceful rise:

China today is a country in reform and opening up, and a rising power dedicated to

of its victim mentality. See Li Fan, China, Japan should Shuck Victim Mentality, Asia
Times Online 23 April 2005.
HC\
See relevant article by Francis Fukuyama, China: Global Citizen or Growing Menace?
The Daily Yomiuri 17 May 2004.

71 The term peaceful rising was firstly introduced by Zheng Bijian, the Chairman of
China Reform Forum. Zheng expounded the concept in this way, the only choice for
China under the current international situation was to rise peacefully, namely, to develop
by taking advantage o f the peaceful international environment, and at the same time, to
maintain world peace through its development. See China is to be mainstay for peace
after peaceful rise, Peoples Daily (China) 25 June 2003.

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peace.72 Peaceful rise is Chinas way of acknowledging the historical problems

associated with being a rising power and signaling to the world that Beijing seeks to

manage this process to prevent conflict. In many ways, the promotion of this idea is

Chinas long delayed answer to the China Threat debate and the efforts by other countries

to define Chinas future global position (Medeiros 2004). Following Premier Wens

speech, the phrase peaceful rise rapidly became part o f the new Chinese lexicon for

talking about its evolving role in world affairs, although the discussion about the meaning

and accuracy o f the new expression is still undergoing. In May 2004, in his speech at the

Boao Forum for Asia held in China, Chinese President Hu Jintao used the expression

peaceful development (hepingfazhan) instead o f peaceful rise: China will follow a

peaceful development path holding high the banners of peace, development and

cooperation, join the other Asian countries in bringing about Asian rejuvenation, and

making greater contribution to the lofty cause of peace and development in the world.73

Though there was not the term peaceful rise in his speech, observers have noticed that

Chinas new leadership had comprehensively endorsed the concept of Chinas peaceful

rise. Moreover, as some foreign China observers point out, Chinas internal debate about

72 In his speech delivered at Harvard University, Premier Wen Jiabao elaborated Chinas
development road to peaceful rise as follows: China is a large developing country. Our
development should not and cannot depend on foreign countries. We must, and we can
only handle our own affairs on the basis of our own strength. That is to say, while opening
still wider to the outside world, China must more fully and more consciously rely on its
own structural innovation, on developing the ever-larger domestic market, on converting
the huge amounts of residents savings into investments, and on improvement of the
nationals qualities and scientific and technological progress to solve the problems of
resources and the environment. This is the essence of Chinas development road to
peaceful rise.

73 Chinese President Hu gave his speech, titled as Chinas development is an opportunity


for Asia, at 2004 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) held in Beijing on
April 22-24, 2004. See relevant reports in China Daily on 25 April 2005.

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its global strategy is very encouraging. It provides further evidence of increasing openness

in foreign policy thinking and official policy formulation. Chinese leaders are actively

seeking input and guidance from analysts with extensive training, expertise and experience

in regional and international affairs. Policy decision-making has become less personalized

and more institutionalized, and Chinese diplomats have become more sophisticated in their

articulation of the countrys goals (Medeiros and Fravel 2003).

So far, based on Joseph Nyes concept of soft power, the first part of this

dissertation has extensively discussed the conceptualization of soft power and its

assessment in the field of international relations. First, regarding the conceptualization of

soft power, I reviewed Nyes relevant literature, and extended and improve on soft power

theory. Since all existing conceptions of power in international relations have been

developed by focusing on one dimension of power - state attributes, relations between

states or the structure o f international system, I further analyzed Nyes concept of soft

power in those three traditional dimensions. I found that soft power is more than the

natural extension o f Nyes descriptions of international relations in a neo-liberal

framework, and its conceptualization can be attributed from combining those three

traditional approaches o f power conceptualization. Moreover, the concept of soft power

has another important characteristic - instability, in which soft powers formation,

development and change in strength have its timely domestic and international background.

Second, regarding soft power assessment, I reviewed two traditional power assessment

models - a structuralist model and a behaviorist model, and develop a specific soft power

conversion model which interprets attraction at three levels - the attractiveness of a

countrys soft power toward a foreign countrys political elites, interest groups, and general

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public. The relationship between hard power and soft power has also been discussed and

applied to the China case. Third, I made some theoretical and empirical connections

between the concept o f soft power and my case study - the current rise of China; I

discussed how Chinese people perceived its own ascendancy in the globalization age; and I

also introduced the Chinese governments global strategies to deal with the rise of China.

Based on these discussions about the conceptualization and assessment of soft power, and

the introduction about the relations between soft power and the rise of China, I will further

assess Chinas soft power status and the implications of soft power for the rise of China in

the next two parts by using a structuralist model and a behaviorist model.

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Part II An Assessment of Chinas Soft Power Using a


Structuralist Model

In the Part II and Part III, I will apply the soft power theory to the crucial case study of this

dissertation - the rise o f China - in order to gain a better understanding about the

effectiveness of the mobilization of a rising countrys soft power resources. In this part, the

assessment o f Chinas soft power will be conducted using a structuralist model following

Nyes framework for analyzing American soft power - cultural attractiveness, political

values, and substance and style of foreign policy. The Chapter V will focus on the

assessment o f Chinas cultural soft power; the Chapter VI will focus on the assessment of

Chinas political soft power; and the Chapter VII will focus on assessing the soft power of

Chinas foreign policy. In each Chapter, I will also use historical comparison to provide

historical context to assess Chinas current soft power.

Chapter V Assessment of Chinas Cultural Soft Power

Culture traditionally has broad determinant impacts on the achievements of the state

through its role in providing the spiritual, organizational, ethical, and economic conditions

for human life. Culture as a concept, however, is infamously difficult to define, and has

evolved significantly over time. For example, by 1952, American anthropologists Alfred

Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn had cataloged over 100 different definitions of the concept

of culture (Kroeber and Kluckhohn 1952). As early as 1871, the English anthropologist

Edward B. Tylor wrote, Culture or civilization, defined in its wide ethnographic sense, is

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that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art morals, law, custom, and any

other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.74 Entering the 21st

century, culture is commonly defined as a set o f distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual

and emotional features of society or a social group and that it encompasses, in addition to

art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and

beliefs.75 Generally, in its broad sense, culture refers to the sum of the material and

spiritual wealth that has been created in the historical practice of human society; in its

narrow sense, culture is the social ideology and its corresponding systems and

organizations, including viewpoints and ideas of politics, law, ethics, art, religions, science

and compatible systems. Today, culture is divided by social observers into the high

culture o f elites and popular or popular culture, meaning goods and activities produced

for, and consumed by, non-elite people or the masses (Nye 2004a: 46).

According to recent IR literature, cultural power generally refers to the imposition

of cultural values on states/ethnic groups by other states or ethnic groups. Therefore,

cultural power has traditionally been interpreted as a form of cultural hegemony, cultural

imperialism, or cultural colonialism. The concept of cultural hegemony was first and

formally put forward by Antonio Gramsci in the 1930s, who revealed the super-political
7 (\
veil of the traditional concept of culture. According to Gramsci, in order to rule civil

74 Sir Tylors definition of Culture is one of the earliest and mostly quoted anthropological
definitions.

75 See the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, which was adopted by
the 31st Session o f the General Conference of UNESCO held in Paris on Nov. 2, 2001.
<http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001271/127160m.pdf> (Accessed on 20 June
2005)

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society, the ruling class must draw support from intellectuals and cultural institutions to

make its ethical, political, and cultural values the universally accepted code of conduct.

Furthermore, the masses must freely support the social lifestyle of the ruling elites.

Capitalism, Gramsci suggested, maintains control not just through violence and political

and economic coercion, but also ideologically, through a hegemonic culture in which the

values of the bourgeoisie become the common sense values of all.77 Thus Gramscis

concept o f cultural hegemony explain the structure of modem society, in which people in

the working class identify their own good with the good of the bourgeoisie, and help

maintain the status quo rather than revolting against it.

In classic realism, national character is regarded as an important component of

national power and associated with the anthropological concept of the cultural pattern,

which expresses the view that certain qualities of intellect and character occur more

frequently and are more highly valued in one nation than in another (Morgenthaus 1985:

146-47). For Morgenthau, as the human factors of a qualitative nature which have a

bearing on national power, national character, and national morale stand out both for their

ubiquity and permanence, which have decisive influence upon the weight a nation is able to

put into the scales of internal politics. Morgenthau emphasized the importance of national

character by suggesting that national character cannot fail to influence national power

(Morgentau 1985: 151). Morgenthau gave some examples of how cultural pattern, for

76 Gramscian theory attempts to explain why the inevitable revolution of the proletariat
predicted by orthodox Marxists had not occurred by the early 20th century. See Antonio
Gramsci, Selections from political writings (1921-1926), translated and edited by Quintin
Hoare (London, U.K.: Lawrence and Wishart, 1978).

77 Ibid.

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good or ill, affects a nations power: the elementary force and persistence of the Russians,

the individual initiative and inventiveness of the Americans, the un-dogmatic common

sense of the British, and the discipline and thoroughness of the Germans (Morgentau 1985:

151). All these cultural patterns help condition a nation toward establishing its

perception of self as well as creating a coherent image in the eyes of other nations, as well

as unifying its approaches to pursing certain political goals. Thus, culture has broad

determinant impacts on the achievements of a nation by playing a seminal role in providing

the spiritual, ethical, and economic conditions for human life.

In some respects, Morgenthaus claim that there was a close connection between

national culture and national power has been supported by Samuel P. Huntingtons thesis

of a clash o f civilizations (Huntington 1993: 22-28). Huntington insists on the salience

of culture in global politics; he argues that in the post-Cold War international system,

alignments and antagonisms among nations are primarily shaped by culture and not by

ideology. He argues that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be

primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and

the dominating source of conflict will be cultural (Huntington 1993). Although

Huntingtons thesis takes the diversity of contemporary culture into account, many of its

followers generally assume Western ideas and culture to be superior to others. Due to the

Wests massive success in the last several centuries, Huntingtons adherents believe in the

coming of the dominance of Western civilization in the near future and attempt to spread

their ideas, sometimes by force, into regions that are hostile to Western culture at the

most basic levels. For Huntington, the clash of civilizations thus occurs at two levels: 1)

adjacent groups along the fault lines between civilizations struggle, often violently, over

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the control o f territory and each other (micro-level conflict); and 2) states from different

civilizations compete for relative military and economic power, struggle over the control of

international institutions and third parties, and competitively promote their particular

political and religious values, often forming alliances with kin countries within their own

civilization spaces (macro-level conflict) (Huntington 1993).

Therefore, Gramscis cultural hegemony, Morgenthaus cultural pattern, and

some components o f Huntingtons clash o f civilizations are all partially dependent on and

also explain the coercive use of cultural power in international relations. This coercive

cultural power aims not at the conquest of territory or at the control of economic life, but at

the conquest and control o f the heats and minds of human populations as an instrument for

changing the power relations between nations or groups. This coercive cultural power

plays a subsidiary (though often supporting) role in contemporary international relations,

alongside other coercive measures like economic sanction and military threat. It softens up

the enemy, and it prepares the ground for military conquest or economic penetration.

According to Morgenthau:

.. .if one could imagine the culture and, more particularly, the political ideology,
with all its concrete imperialistic objectives, of State A conquering the minds of all
the citizens and determining the policies of State B, State A would have won a more
complete victory and would have founded its supremacy on more stable grounds
than any military conqueror or economic master. State A would not need to
threaten or employ military force or use economic pressure in order to achieve its
ends; for that end, the subservience of State B to its will, would have already been
realized by the persuasiveness of a superior culture and a more attractive political
philosophy (Morgenthau 1985: 177).

However, the use of cultural power in international relations has not been limited to

coercion and inducement. According to Joseph Nye, a country may achieve the outcomes

it desires in world politics because other countries want to follow it or have agreed to a

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system that produces such effects (Nye 2004a). In this sense, power can emanate from the

attractiveness o f ones ideas or ones ability to set the political agenda in such a way that

manipulates other actors preferences so that they mirror ones own. This form of power -

getting others to want what you want - is called co-optive power or soft power (Nye 1990a:

31-32). The soft power of a country rests primarily on three resources: its culture (in places

where it is attractive to others), its political values (when it lives up to them at home and

abroad), and its foreign policy (when such policies are seen as legitimate and having moral

authority) (Nye 2002: 12). Summarized by Nye as a directing, attracting, and imitating

force, soft power is derived mainly from intangible resources like national cohesion,

culture, ideology, and influence on international institutions. As one of the most important

components o f a countrys soft power, culture attractiveness not only influences various

aspects of peoples lives and plays a vital part in social development within a country, but

also has a direct impact on relations between countries and helps a country to achieve

important foreign policy goals.

According to Nye, the political effects of culture have always received specific

attention among policymakers from various countries. During the Cold War, the US grew

its soft power through cultural contacts among elites resulting in important contributions to

American policy objectives. The realist American diplomat George Kennan placed great

importance on cultural contact as a means of combating negative impressions about this

country that mark so much o f world opinion (Nye 2004a: 45). Former US Secretary of

State Colin Powell stated, I can think of no more valuable asset to our country than the

friendship o f future world leaders who have been educated here (Nye 2004a: 44-46).

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Scientific and academic exchanges have always played a significant role in

enhancing American cultural attraction among foreign elites after the World War II. The

lofty cultural values that the US exports through the medium of over half a million foreign

students who study every year in American universities, and in the minds of the Asian

entrepreneurs who return home after succeeding in Silicon Valley, are closely related to

elites who hold power in America (Nye 2004a: 73). In addition to high culture, popular

culture is vital as it reaches greater numbers than does high culture. In the case of the US,

popular entertainment often contains subliminal images and messages about individualism,

consumer choice, personal freedom, and other values that have important political effects

abroad (Nye 2004a: 46). As the line between information and entertainment blurs in the

age of globalization, sports, comics, popular music, movies, TV programs, literature, and

the other forms o f popular culture, to varying degrees, convey various (often competing)

values. Consumption of such products inevitably impacts national images, political

ideology, and social values. In short, soft cultural power, despite its conceptual

elusiveness, has emerged as one of the pivot points on which the 21st century will turn.

Historical Analysis of Ancient Chinas Cultural Attractiveness

One of the principal means by which a state perpetuates itself is by identifying with a

national cultural tradition that enhances its historical and psychological legitimacy,

differentiates us from them, and anchors loyalties (Harvey 1990). Such traditions have

been built on religion, language, myths, literature and poetry, historical events, ways of

dress, and so forth. The relations of the Chinese with surrounding areas and with non-

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Chinese peoples generally, were colored by the concept of Sinocentrism and an assumption

of Chinese superiority (Fairbank 1968: 2). Over the past 5,000 years, Chinese have

unapologetically distinguished themselves from both neighboring and distant barbarians

through the shibboleths o f language, culture, and political orientation. Morgenthau states,

The high qualities o f education and culture have made the Chinese look with contempt on

the profession of the soldier as well as upon all other nations, which at the beginning of the

19th century were still regarded as barbarian vassals of the Chinese emperor (Morgenthau

1985: 544). For example, the Chinese referred to their empire as all under heaven (tian

xia)\ until in the 20th century, the term nation-state (guo jia ) had gradually been accepted by

Chinese intellectuals. As observed by an American Chinese scholar, .. .viewing Chinese

culture as a set o f universal principles, the Chinese empire transcended the specific cultural

traditions of the people residing in the empire. Its territorial domain was also loosely

defined by cultural principles, which were in fact not always universally accepted and often

had to be enforced through the imperial political system (Zhao 2004: 37).

Despite the fact that China holds the worlds longest tradition of continuous

statehood and the Chinese have long professed their cultural superiority to other peoples, it

is surprisingly difficult to precisely define the Chinese culture. Compared with the

Chinese, the Japanese have a clear ethnic identity because they have lived as a island nation

for hundreds o f years; the Jewish people have been held together by their Judaic faith and

the concept of being a chosen people; the Americans, as people of both a new nation and

melting pot, have developed an identity anchored upon their political faith of a

constitutional republic (Lee 1994: 239). One scholar notes, .. .viewing Chinese culture as

a set of universal principles, the Chinese empire transcended the specific cultural traditions

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of the people residing in the empire. Its territorial domain was also loosely defined by

cultural principles, which were in fact not always universally accepted and often had to be

enforced through the imperial political system (Zhao 2004: 37). For most of its history,

China was held together by the unshakable strength of Chinese culture. Its power came to

be regarded with a reverence typically reserved for supernatural phenomena. This respect

is partly due to the role of Chinese culture in providing the base for the longest continuous

statehood. Chinas exceptionally cultural identity is also seen as helping the country to

withstand the fury o f the last 150 years. Lastly, Chinese culture has been central to the

countrys unprecedented and dramatic modernization process of the last 25 years (Ramo

2004: 37). Some Chinese values, most notably the old arrogance of Chinas technical

superiority, had been shattered with incredible consequences in the so-called one-hundred-

year humiliation (from 1840 to 1949), but other Chinese values, from aesthetic

considerations to the complex emotional ties of family and friendship, have survived

intense, sustained and direct assaults.

It is not difficult to find numerous evidences regarding the power and resilience of

Chinese culture from Chinas history. For much o f its history, China was the strongest

country in the world - not only in the economic and military terms, but also in the cultural

sphere. Despite this dominance, ancient China experienced several invasions and
78
occupations by non-Han ethnic groups; however, these interlopers were inevitably

converted to Chinese culture. Time and time again, these non-Han Chinese invaders

began speaking Chinese, eating Chinese food, dressing in Chinese styles, and finally

78 In this dissertation, I use both Han and Harf. The first refers to the Han Dynasty (202
B.C. - 220 A.D.). The italicized Han refers to Chinas dominant ethnic group, which
constitutes about 91 percent o f the population of the mainland China.

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adopting Chinese cultural patterns in their totality.79 While there are numerous theories

explaining the assimilating power of Chinese culture, the subject too complicated to be

covered in this essay. One can best understand the power of Chinese culture by focusing

on the Chinese peoples insistence on localization of alien ideas, products, and ways of

life. Nothing can be absorbed into the Chinese culture without localization.

A good example is the Yuan (Origin) Dynasty (1271-1368). The Yuan was

established by the invading Mongolsethnically-heterogeneous nomads from Chinas

northern periphery. When the Mongols occupied China in the 13th century, the Middle

Kingdom became part of the largest contiguous empire in human history. After Kublai

Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan, relocated the capital from Mongolia to Ta-tu (Beijing)

in 1264, the Yuan embarked on an inexorable process of assimilation into Chinese culture,

evidenced by the dynastys Chinese name. The Yuan adopted Chinese bureaucratic

structures and employed Chinese political theories in its governance, and ultimately
OA

reinstituted the Confucian-based civil service examination.

This process also worked outwards. Throughout history, Chinas cultural power

frequently conquered neighboring regions through osmosis rather than military victory.

As early as the Han Dynasty some 2,000 years ago, Chinas capital Changan was one of

the two largest cities in the ancient world (Rome was the other). During this period, lasting

79 When the Mongols occupied Beijing in 1215, their troops were resolutely intent on not
becoming sickened by what they regarded as Chinese laziness. Within two generations,
however, they were almost totally assimilated into Chinese life. Half a millennium later,
the Manchus suffered the same fate.

80 It should noted, however, that the Mongols were notoriously adverse to allowing Han
into the upper echelons o f the administration, employing instead Turkic nomads and other
foreigners (perhaps even Marco Polo if he is to be believed).

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commercial and cultural contacts were established with Central Asia, southwestern Asia,

and even the Roman Empire. The Silk Road was a global artery linking the various

empires in the ancient world and for centuries Chinese goods (silks, porcelains, ironware,

etc.) as well as innovations (e.g., gunpowder, the compass, and wheelbarrow) moved across

Eurasia, along with Chinese culture carried by its merchants.

The Tang Dynasty (618-906) represented the heyday of ancient Chinese

civilization. As the worlds best governed civilization, the Tang enjoyed cultural and

military dominance in East Asia. The Tang Empire unified the countrys national culture

by harmonizing cultural and social traditions of the northern and southern portions of China

which had ruled separately for some time.81 The Tang era also marked the beginning of

Chinas technological dominance over other civilizations. This period saw the spread of

Chinese language, culture, ideology, religious practices, and technology to neighboring

countries, including Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and others.82 As Fairbank concluded, the

societies of East A sia.. .had all stemmed from ancient China and developed within the

Chinese culture area, the area most influenced by the civilization o f ancient China, for

example, by the Chinese ideographic writing system, the Confucian classical teachings

81 Poetry became very popular during that time and led to the development of the first free
verse poetry by the end o f the dynasty. By putting some of the poems to music, the Tang
Chinese made the first steps in developing opera.

82 For example, an 8th century Chinese high monk named Jianzhen traveled to Japan to
spread Chinese culture and Buddhism, ultimately contributing to the growth of Japanese
civilization. Despite five failed attempts, Monk Jianzhen succeeded in his sixth effort to
reach the Japanese islands at the invitation of a Buddhist temple there. It took the monk ten
full years to succeed in his endeavor and, afterward, he spent the last decade of his life
there spreading the Chinese culture and arts, such as Chinese painting, calligraphy,
medicine, sculpture, architecture, printing, and craftsmanship.

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about family and social order, the official examination system, and the imperial Chinese

monarchy and bureaucracy (Fairbank 1968: 1).

Chinas role as a cultural lodestone was disrupted in the mid-19th century; this

downturn in the countrys cultural attractiveness abroad continued into the late 20

century. In the last decades o f the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), the ruling elites inability to

ward off foreign challenges resulted in the loss of faith in Chinas Confucian worldview

and prompted internal demands for a fundamental change in the countrys system of

governance. Although modem China was never subjected to a comprehensive colonial rule

experienced by India in the 19th century, the countrys semi-colonial status during the so-

called one hundred years o f humiliation (from 1840 to 1949) severely damaged its

spiritual life, confidence in dealing with the outside world, and ability to tap indigenous

symbolic resources. During this period, certain long-held Chinese tenets of faithmost

notably the Chinese belief in their own intellectual, spiritual, and technical superiority to

otherswere shattered with soul-wrenching consequences. Western technological,

political, and economic incursions forever dislodged Chinese intellectuals from their

Confucian heaven (Tu 1991: 2).

During the Maoist era, the internal assault on Chinas traditional culture culminated

in the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) which saw the nationwide attack on the Four Olds

- old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits. This ill-conceived and ultimately

disastrous national movement was not just a campaign against outdated ideas and a few

intellectuals, but a wholesale attack on the educated elite and traditional culture (Schwarcz

1991: 65). As tens of thousands of Red Guard youths attacked Confucius birthplace,

ancient palaces, university professors, and all cultural products of foreign origin, China

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became a dangerously anti-traditional and xenophobic place. Chinas cultural power

measured in terms o f how a country is viewed, respected, and ultimately imitated -

declined precipitously during this period of self-imposed isolation from the outside world

(Lampton 2001: 385).

The rise o f China as a country with the most ancient and sophisticated cultural

traditions entering the most dynamic and unpredictable modernization process raises a

challenging question about tradition in modernity. Does the rise of China suggest the

necessity of a total iconoclastic attack on traditional Chinese culture and a comprehensive


go

Westernization as a precondition for Chinas modernization? In short, how does Chinas

modernization process challenge Chinas deep-rooted traditional culture values? With this

question in mind, in the following section, I will assess Chinas cultural soft power in its

modernization process.

Assessment of Chinas Cultural Soft Power in its Modernization Process

The relationship between Chinese culture and Western culture has become a major concern

in the debate on globalization among Chinese scholars.84 On the one hand, some liberal

83 See the similar question asked by Tu Wenmin in A Confucian Perspective on the Rise
of Industrial East Asia.

84 In this paragraph, the discussions about Chinese scholars views of globalization are
based on the results o f my field research in both Beijing and Shanghai. During my three
summer trips back to Beijing and Shanghai in 2001,2002, and 2003,1 conducted selected
elite interviews with some Chinas social elites in foreign policy, foreign trade,
international law, national security and information industry. I started my interviews with
asking the interviewee the same questions: Is the current globalization an opportunity or
challenge for China? How do you interpret the term o f globalization? Regarding the first

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scholars like Li Shenzhi, a famous Chinese social scientist, argue that with globalization as

the dominant trend, China must understand globalization more deeply and participate in it

more actively. They believe that a second period of globalization - pluralization

{duoyuanhua) - could provide a good opportunity for the reinsertion o f the Chinese culture

into a new world. On the other hand, some nationalist scholars are concerned that because

major Western countries lead globalization, they can use so-called global values as a front

to pursue their national interests against China and mislead China into crises of cultural

identity, which often result in social turmoil and instability, hindering Chinas economic

growth and modernization. Despite their differences, these two camps find common cause

in the promotion of the Chinese language and dispersion of Chinese culture on a global

level. In the following discussion, we attempt address the questions listed above and

further analyze Chinas cultural power through a case study o f the global popularization of

the Chinese language. In the following discussion, the assessment of Chinas current

cultural soft power will be divided into two parts: the expansion and the limits of Chinas

cultural power in its modernization process.

question, the interviewees pointed out three major negative consequences of globalization
for China: first, it concentrated control over the international economic and political order
in the hands of a single hegemonic power; second, it threatened and constrained the
sovereignty of the nation-state and led to periodic crises of national economic security and
the decline o f state capacity to control the economy; and third, it often resulted in crises of
cultural identity, government legitimacy, and authority and hence brought about social
turmoil and instability, which would hinder economic growth and modernization.
Regarding the second question, some Chinese scholars who studied globalization divide
globalization into two periods: the first was characterized by a pattern of unitarization
((danyihua) and the second by pluralization {duoyuanhua). In describing the post-Cold War
international structure, there are two frequently used words - multipolarization and
pluralization, which have similar meanings but the latter has been commonly used by
Chinese government. The nature of pole is long-term stable confrontation, but the nature
of unit is that the dominant position of key countries is determined by the nature of
specific affairs.

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Figure 5.1 Olympic Game Gold Medal Count: US vs. China85

90
80
70
60
% 50 -

i 40 - - "ii I i * hi h i
rVwfcowA.
i J ii l u i n r ' i n W I
j'' - *' j

Z 30
20
10
0
1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004
Year

United States China

Since Deng Xiaopings initiation o f open-door policy in the 1980s, Chinese

culture is en vogue once again. While traditional cultural products like acupuncture, feng

shui, martial arts, herbal medicine, regional cuisines, literature, religious practices, and The

Art o f War have witnessing renewed popularity around the world, Chinas modem arts,

cinema, pop music, acrobatics, and dance also finding new audiences in the Pacific Rim,

and increasingly in the West as well. In 2000, the French Chinese novelist Gao Xingjian
g /-

became the first Chinese to win a Nobel Prize for Literature. Recent Chinese motion

pictures such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and House o f Flying Daggers

exploded on the international box office, exposing new generations of non-Chinese to

85 In the 1984 Olympics Games held Los Angels, the Soviet Union boycott o f the event as
retaliation for the absence o f the US and its allies four years earlier in Moscow, benefited
the U.S. and China, a first time participant. Since the Soviet bloc sports powerhouses like
East Germany and the Soviet Union attended the 1988 Olympics Games held in Seoul, the
number of gold medals won by the U.S. and China had relatively decreased.

86 Gao Xingjian was bom and raised in China. His writing career in China came to a halt in
the mid-1980s when his plays that were deemed spiritual pollution by the Chinese
government. In the late 1980s, Xingjian immigrated to France later gaining French
citizenship. Today, he writes in both French and Chinese. He was awarded the Nobel Prize
for Literature in 2000 for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic
ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama.

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- 121 -

modem and traditional Chinese culture. In fact, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was the

first non-English-language film to gross more than $100 million in the history of the

American box office.

Since 1984, the Chinese government has made a concerted effort to use the

Olympic Games to project the countrys cultural power. Chinese sport has become a

powerful mechanism for countering the stereotype of the weak and diminutive Chinese

and shows how China can compete against the best in the world (Larmer 2005). In the

gold medal count of the 2004 Games, China ran a very close second to the US, thus

eclipsing Russialong a fixture on the Olympic medal stand. The 2008 Summer

Olympics Chinas first opportunity to play host to the worlds premiere sporting event

will undoubtedly serve as a showcase for Beijing to project its newly-expanded role in

global affairs, as well as international sport. As Chinas economy expands (along with the

concomitant demographic benefits that such a process entails) and the country continues its

expansion of its sports program, it is not unreasonable to expect that there will be an

increasingly Chinese flavor at major international sporting events in the future.87

In other areas o f popular culture, such as sports, China is also making great strides.

The Houston Rockets Yao Ming has skyrocketed into the National Basketball

Associations (NBA) iiber-elite almost overnight. Yaos great success in NBA represents

one of many new factors in helping improving Chinas cultural power status around the

world. According to a recent Foreign Policy article, a new demographic of Asian fans has

flocked to stadiums to watch the giant stride across court, offering an image of China that

87 See relevant report by Christopher Clarey, Point Made in Athens, China Looks toward
Beijing in 08, New York Times 27 August 2004.

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- 122 -

has nothing to do with Chairman Mao or massacres at Tiananmen Square. Non-Asian fans,

meanwhile, like him for making the alien seem familiar, the freakishly tall endearingly

small (Larmer 2005). There are two initiatives behind the Chinese governments sending

its best athletes to the NBA, and allocating funds and resources to support its own sporting

programs; the new generation of Chinese leaders still sees sports not so much as business,

recreation, or entertainment, but as a projection of national ambition, a yearning that is

particularly powerful as Beijing prepares to host the 2008 Olympic Games.

In addition to the expanding reach o f Chinese popular culture through movies,

literature, and sport, Chinas uptick in cultural power is also reflected in the countrys

booming tourism industry. Between 1980 and 2004, China commanded one of the worlds

highest growth rates as a tourist destination. As shown in the Figure 5.2, during this

period, the number o f total inbound tourists including visitors from Taiwan, Hong Kong,

Macau, as well as foreign (non-Chinese) tourists from other countries, increased by more

than 19 foldfrom 5.7 million to 109 million. Among these inbound tourists, the number

of foreigners increased by nearly 34 fold, from 0.5 million to 16.9 million. The relatively

faster growth of inbound tourists indicates more than just the cohesiveness of the Chinese

culture among all ethnic Chinese, it also demonstrates the growing global attractiveness of

the country to non-Chinese populations. Chinas global ranking as a tourism destination

jumped from 34 place in 1980 to seventh in 1998. The country is already among the top

three destination choices for Russians, and is on the rise among Australians, Japanese, and

others. The World Trade Organization predicted that China would be No. 1 tourist

destination worldwide in 2020.

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Figure 5.2 Chinas Inbound Tourists

T h e In bou nd T o u ris ts to M a in la n d C h in a

1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004


Y ear

Source: China National Tourism Administration.

Besides being a tourist destination, China is also attracting increasing numbers of

longer term visitors, specifically international students. In the meantime, the enrollment of

foreign students in Chinese universities has seen a steady growth. In 1950, China received

the first group o f 33 students from the East European countries. Since 1978 when China

initiated its reform and opening-up policy, the enrollment o f foreign students in Chinese

universities has seen a steady growth over the past two decades. By the end of 2000, the

total number o f international students in China has increased to 407,000 representing 160

countries. Among them, Chinese Government Scholarship students numbered 88,000,

whereas self-financed students reached 317,000.88 China expects to have 1.2 million

88 The Chinese government has set up state-funded scholarships to finance students and
scholars in the rest of the world. According to the agreements or programs reached between
the Chinese government and governments of other countries and international
organizations, the Chinese Ministry of Education is responsible to grant the government
scholarships and entrusts the Chinese Scholarships Council (CSC) with the enrollment and
management o f daily affairs concerning international students in China who study on the
Chinese government scholarships.

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-124-

foreign students in the country by the time Beijing hosts the 2008 Olympic Gamesan

ambitious goal given that less than 8,000 foreigners studied in China 20 years ago. With

Chinas ample cultural resources and a booming economy, attracting foreign students

seeking to study Chinese languages, arts, history, medicine, and agricultural sciences is

increasingly easier.89

Chinas increase is even more compelling when contrasted with the United States

marked decline in foreign enrollment in recent years. According to the Open Doors

Survey o f Institute of International Education, the enrollment o f foreign students in the US

grew robustly between 1999 and 2002 (4.8 percent, 6.0 percent, and 6.0 percent

respectively). But in 2002-2003 academic year, the growth rate declined to 0.6 percent;

and in the 2003-3004 academic year, the enrollment actually declined by 2.4 percent.90

This trend is most pronounced among students originating in Southeast Asia. In 2003,

2,563 Indonesian students received visas to study in China, a 51 percent increase over the

previous year. By comparison, 1,333 Indonesian students were allowed to study in the US

in the same yeara precipitous drop from the 6,250 student visas issued in 2000.91 Since

September 11th, 2001 and the subsequent implementation of student tracking measures, a

more stringent visa regime, and suffocating regulations on certain types of research, the US

is no longer perceived as a friendly destination for many foreign students, especially those

89 See relevant reports in China Daily, 20 September 2004.

90 Institute of International Education, Open Doors 2004: Report on International


Educational Exchange. <http://opendoors.iienetwork.org/?p=49931> (accessed on 3
August 2005).

91 Jane Perlez. For many Asians, China is cultural magnet, International Herald Tribune
19 November 2004.

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from Asian and Muslim countries (Sidel 2004). Many are instead flocking to rival

institutions in Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Australia, and, of course, China.

Since World War II, Americas strong scientific research and technological

innovations have significantly contributed to the attractiveness of its culture abroad. With

greater levels o f technology and skills transfer since the 1970s, there has been a leveling of

the playing field in these arenas a development which has especially benefited Asian

countries including China. Today, the global landscape for science and technology is in

flux. Between 1995 and 2001, China, South Korea, and Taiwan increased their gross R&D

spending by about 140 percent, while the United States increased its investments by only

34 percent. Furthermore, the number of researchers in Asia has grown rapidly as more

Asians especially Chineseearn doctoral degrees; this while the number of American

citizens pursuing doctoral degrees is declining.93 In 2005, just as the American government

was cutting the National Science Foundations budget by $105 million, the Chinese

government promised to increase its investment in basic research to American levels, i.e.,

investments in basic sciences will account for 20 percent of the states total R&D

expenditure.94 A European Commission report recently suggested that China will outpace

92 According to Mark Sidel, not only are American schools losing key contributors to a
creative, research-based, value-added economy, but also the new rules for government
classification o f documents are making it difficult to research and to publish results.
Campuses are not in a new McCarthy era, but views outside the mainstream are less
welcome than before - a development contributing little to the war on terrorism.

93 See the comments made by Diana Hicks at the American Chemical Societys 227th
National Meeting in San Diego, California, <http://www.physorg.com/news3376.html>
(accessed on 18 May 2005).

94 See the speech made by Cheng Jinpei, Chinas Vice Minister o f Science and
Technology, at a meeting marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of state key
state laboratories and the fifth anniversary of kickoff of the national basic research and

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European Union R&D expenditures as a percentage of gross domestic product in five

years.95 Although China is far from matching the USs aggregate R&D expenditures, the

current trends are proving that leadership role long-held by the Americans in science and

innovation is in relative decline and far from guaranteed in the long rim.

The rise o f Chinaa country which possesses one of the most ancient and

sophisticated of cultural traditions, but which is embarking on a dynamic and unpredictable

modernizationraises a series of questions: How can China translate its cultural resources

into desired policy outcomes? What kind of challenges and opportunities will China face

in its efforts as it integrates into the ongoing process of cultural globalization? Does

Chinas rise necessitate a dismantling of the bases of traditional Chinese culture as a

precondition for modernization? Internally, the interplay between Chinese and Western

cultures resulting from globalization has emerged as a major topic of the debate among

Chinese scholars. On the one hand, many liberal Chinese scholars argue that China must

recognize the dominance o f globalization and move towards a deeper and more active

participation in global flows of people, ideas, commerce, technology, and information.

They believe that a secondary wave of globalizationoften called pluralization

(iduoyuanhua) could provide an excellent opportunity for the global reemergence of

Chinese culture which would shape the new world.96

development plan. < http://www.most.gov.cn/eng/photonews/t20041228_18316.htm>


(accessed on 1 June 2005).

95 China to outpace EU in research spending in just five years: report, Agence France
Press, 9 October 2005.

96 Quoted in Zhao, A Nation-State by Construction, 152. Some Chinese scholars who study
globalization, such as Ping He, divide globalization into two periods: the first was
characterized by a pattern of unitarization (danyihua) and the second by pluralization

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It is impossible to study Chinas participation in the ongoing process of cultural

globalization without exploring the global popularization of the Chinese language. As

China continues with its rapid economic development, expands its share of world trade, and

grows as a diplomatic prowess, the value of the Chinese language likewise increases.

Today, Chinese is more than just the language associated with the countrys 5,000-year

civilization and oriental philosophical thought, it is also a fast-developing commercial

lingua franca in the Pacific basin. Its practical value has surpassed that of French, German,

and even Japanese in much o f the world and its future opportunities seem limitless.97 The

global demand for Chinese language education has kept pace with the countrys economic

development since China initiated its modernization process in early 1980s. According to a

recent survey, 38 percent of human resource and financial directors in Europeas well as

Australia and New Zealandexpect Chinese to become the most valuable business

language - other than English - in the near future.98 French President Jacques Chirac has

encouraged French youth to learn Chinese. In Singapore, Mandarin Chinese is vigorously

promoted by the states leadership as a way to simultaneously reduce inter-ethnic

(duoyuanhua). In describing the post-Cold War international structure, there are two
frequently used words - multipolarization and pluralization, which have similar meanings
but the latter has been commonly used by Chinese government. The nature of pole is
long-term stable confrontation, but the nature of unit is that the dominant position of key
countries is determined by the nature of specific affairs.

97 Link the cultures of China and the world, Peoples Daily Online, 4 February 2005.

98 A recent report by Robert Half Finance and Accounting, which surveyed 1,500 human
resources and finance directors in nine countries in Europe, in addition to Australia and
New Zealand, found that 38% of respondents expect Chinese to become the most valuable
business language in the forthcoming years. See Falling language skills could harm British
business Prospects, April 2005.

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communication barriers (amongst dialect-speaking Chinese) and promote greater ties

across Southeast Asia (and Singapores role as a regional hub) (Fishman 1998: 31).

The Chinese language has already made much headway in entering foreign

institutes of higher learning, secondary, and primary schools. The number of non-Chinese

people studying Chinese has reached 30 million and is expected to rise to 100 million by

2010." According to the National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, 26

Confucius Institutes have already been set up around the world, and there are more than

100 foreign organizations working in conjunction with China to establish further Confucius

Institutes. More than 2,300 universities in roughly 100 countries are offering Chinese

courses as part o f their curriculums. In South Korea, Japan, France, as well as other

countries, Chinese has become the fastest growing foreign language in high schools.100

In the US, the number of Chinese language learners is growing the fastest compared

with learners o f other foreign languages. O f the more than 3,000 universities in the US,

nearly 800 have opened Chinese language courses.101 Recently, the College Board, the

US-based organization which administers the SAT and other college entry exams, added

99 See relevant reports in China Daily 1 February 2005.

100 From 1994 to 2002, Parisian students who chose to study Chinese rose by 170 percent.
From 2000 to 2002, students opting for Chinese increased by 30 percent. At the beginning
of 2003, some 7,600 students made Chinese study their first choice. More than 30,000
South Korean students are studying in China, the largest foreign student body in China.
The above data are collected from the relevant media reports about the first World
Chinese Language Conference held in Beijing from July 20 to 22. Furthermore, Chinese
language courses are offered in nearly 200 universities in South Korea. There are 2 million
learners of Chinese language in Japan.
<http://english.hanban.edu.en/market/HanBanE/411434.htm>

101 Statistics from the US Modem Language Association (MLA) showed among 3,000
universities in the United States, 800 offer Chinese courses.

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Chinese to its roster o f Advanced Placement programs for American high school students.

Beijing is subsidizing half of cost of the $1.4 million program.102 The Chinese Proficiency

Test, known as the Chinese TOEFL, has seen an increase in examinees of about 40-50

percent every year. Since the test was put in practice in 1990, 154 test sites have been

established in 37 countries, and more than 400,000 people have taken part in the test.

However, while China is fast strengthening its cultural soft power in its

modernization process, Chinas exercise of its cultural power is not without constraints. In

general, if a countrys culture is attractive, others are more willingly to follow. But the

resources of soft power will not automatically become desired policy outcomes. Soft

power resources often work indirectly by shaping the environment for policy, and

sometimes it takes years to produce desired outcomes.

One o f the conditions that favor the projection of soft power is cultural similarity.

In the words of Nye, culture is more likely to attract people and produce soft power in

situations where cultures are somewhat similar rather than widely dissimilar (Nye 2002a:

15-16). Therefore, not surprisingly, Chinas progressive foreign cultural policy is more

successful in its neighboring countries. Throughout Southeast Asia, new Chinese schools

are springing up, and the once scorned ethnic Chinese communities are celebrated. For

example, the Chinese New Year has been gradually made a public holiday around the

world, and politicians are more willingly to reveal their ethnic Chinese backgrounds.

Mainland Chinese films and Chinese pop stars dominate the airwaves in Thailand, the

Philippines and other nations. In part because of this new development, many Southeast

Asian countries now either have a far closer relationship with China than the US or are

102 April Austin, Where are the Chinese speakers of the Future? Christian Science
Monitor 10 February 2004.

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moving toward this direction. Polls taken in late 2003 in Thailand, for example, showed

that more than three quarters o f respondents considered China to be Thailands closest

friend (Kurlantzick 2005). According to a recent BBC World Service Poll of 22 countries,

striking developments can be observed in Chinas neighboring countries that have


I a i

historically shown substantial suspicion of China. Generally, as showed in the Table 5.1,

most people in Chinas neighboring countries, except Japan, view China positively.104 In

South Korea, most people fear America more than North Korea, and South Koreans have

embraced the Chinese culture enthusiastically. Indeed, the deep cultural and ideological

ties have left an enduring legacy of respect for China within the Korean culture, so much so

that Korea has been criticized for being quick to react to even the slightest transgression

by either the United States or Japan, while China often gets a pass, even when the

transgressions are great (Scofield 2003).105

Table 5.1: The Perceptions of China in Major Neighboring Countries

Philippines Indonesia India Russia S. Korea Japan


mainly positive 70 68 66 42 49 22
mainly negative 9 20 20 27 47 25
Source: BBC World Service Survey 2004

103 This international poll was conducted by GlobeScan to 22,953 respondents in 22


countries from 15 November 2004 to 5 January 2005: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada,
Chile, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico,
Russia, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and the U.S.

104 The reasons why Japan has always viewed China negatively in recent years are very
complicated. Generally, according to Robert Sutter, the rise of Chinas power and
influence in Asian affairs in the 1990s and Chinas military assertiveness over Taiwan and
the South China Sea coincided with a protracted period of lackluster Japanese economic
performance and weak political leadership... See Sutter, China and Japan: Trouble
Ahead? 2002.

105 See David Scofield, Northeast Asia's Intra-mural Mural Wars, Asia Times Online 23
December, 2003.

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On the other hand, as Nye repeatedly emphasizes, only those whose credibility is

enhanced by their domestic and international performance can make their cultures

attractive to the others (Nye 2002a, 2002c, 2004a). The credibility factor will be

detrimental for the attractiveness of the Chinese culture. Without political credibility,

which only can be created and maintained by real political reform, the current global

attractiveness o f Chinese culture cannot continue in the long term. According to the BBC

survey, China does not seem to have its way in the situations where cultures are dissimilar,

although China is ranked by Europeans third for its influence in the world behind the US

and Britain. Despite strong US resistance, France and Germany are pushing with other

European countries for the lifting of the European Union embargo on arms sales to China,

imposed after the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989. However, the perceptions of China in

the 6 major European countries polled by the BBC World Service are much more negative

than in Chinas neighboring countries. As shown in Table 5.2, almost half of the people in

Germany, Chinas largest trade partner in Europe, have mainly negative perception of

China. It appears that the Europe Unions China policies are mostly based on its economic

interests and strategic considerations rather than their interests in Chinas cultural

attractiveness and political values.

Table 5.2: The Perceptions of China in Major European Countries

France U.K. Italy Spain Germany Poland


mainly positive 49 46 42 37 34 26
mainly negative 33 34 40 33 47 33
Source: BBC World Service Survey 2004

Moreover, there are always concerns over the disappearance o f cultural diversity in

the evolving globalization. The assumptions are that cultural globalization is a one-way

traffic in which things flow from the North to the South; and cultural diversity in the

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developing world will become the victim of the cultural dominance emanating from the

developed world. Therefore, Chinas development in cultural power has been restricted by

the current world structure of cultural power distribution. On the one hand, the dominance

of the US in the flow of cultural goods means that any effort to expand Chinas cultural

influence cannot ignore the spread of Americanization - Big Macs, Mickey Mouse, and

Michael Jordan. In both areas o f high culture and popular culture, China is still no match

for the US (Nye 2002: 20). On the other hand, globalization and the information revolution

are double-edged swords. As one of their aftermaths, a wave of foreign cultural ideas,

values and products are flooding into China and threatening the preservation of Chinese

traditional culture. For example, the use of English is becoming more widespread in

Chinese everyday life. The nonstandard use of foreign words in Chinese will greatly

undermine the healthy development of the mother language.

Finally, history may produce repercussions which will become burdens for China in

expanding its soft power. This is demonstrated in the unresolved ethnic parentage of

Koguryo, a 1,400-year-old kingdom that stretched from Chinas Inner Mongolia in the

north and included most o f what is today North Korea in the south. Through the

government-sponsored Northeast Asia Project, which is an important attempt to increase its

soft power, China applied to UNESCO to have Koguryo-era tombs and murals within its

territory registered as a World Heritage site. If UNESCO designated the tombs as Chinese

cultural artifacts, it would mean that North Korea was historically Chinese territory. This

triggered strong anti-China protests in South Korea, and many South Koreans began to

realize that China is not the all-benevolent fraternal ally as they used to believe (Scofield

2003). Also, although ancient Chinese culture had tremendous impact on Japan, in the

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current world, such kind of cultural power has greatly declined. Chinese elite and popular

opinion have a strong sensibility that foreign aggressors had victimized China in the past.

These feelings have largely focused on Japan, which was the most despised foreign

aggressor in Chinas modem history, and exacerbated Chinese antipathy toward Japan.

However in the eyes o f most Japanese, China has lost its moral standing because the

Chinese government has always criticized Japanese governments attitude over the WWII

history and required it to apologize again and again. (Sutter 2002).

To summarize, in this Chapter, I discussed the role of culture in international

relations, briefly reviewed Chinas cultural soft power status in its history, and analyzed

Chinas cultural soft power in its modernization process by pointing out its resources and

limits. I find that Chinas cultural power in ancient time and modem time had mainly

relied on the attractiveness o f its soft cultural power resources, rather than imposing its

cultural values on the other countries and ethnic groups. For example, in Chinas ancient

history, Chinas culture was attractive enough to make its neighboring countries to follow it

and study it. And Chinese cultural power resources are strong enough to localize any

invading cultures like the Mongols and Manchus even if Chinas political or military power

resources cannot defend itself from those invasions. After the continuous decline of its

cultural power in the last 140 years, Chinas cultural power is in a rapid recovery. To some

extent, Chinas rising process can be interpreted as Chinas reemergence in the cultural

perspective. Although China has many opportunities to further expand its cultural soft

power resources, it still has many constraints. For example, the credibility factor of soft

power seems to be a long-term problem for Chinas further expansion of cultural power

resources; some other factors, history, cultural similarity, cultural diversity, etc, are all

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important problems to solve. Following the same analyzing framework of this Chapter, I

will analyze the soft power of Chinas political values and domestic policies to assess

Chinas political soft power resources in next chapter.

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Chapter VI Assessment of Chinas Political Soft Power

A countrys soft power also depends on its domestic performance, because how a country

implements its political values can enhance its image and perceived legitimacy, which has

important implications for the advancement of foreign policy objectives (Nye 2004a: 56).

It is very difficult to define the term of values, but there is a general consensus as to the

core of the term: Value implies a code or a standard which has some persistence through

time, or, more broadly put, which organizes a system of action. Value, conveniently and in

accordance with the received usage, places things, acts, behavior, goals of action on the

approval-disapproval continuum (Koib 1961: 52). This chapter will analyze some of

Chinas general political values and how they have been implemented, followed by an

assessment of Chinas political soft power.

Morgenthau is one o f the first IR theorists who attempts to connect political values

with national power analysis. In his framework o f analyzing national power, political value

corresponds with the power element of national morale. As previously discussed, national

morale can be interpreted as national will, which encompasses the degree o f national

cohesiveness, leadership and governmental efficacy, as well as concerns over national

strategy and interests. In the form of public opinion, national will and national morale

provide intangible factors without whose support no government, democratic or

autocratic, is able to pursue its policies with effectiveness, if it is able to pursue them at all

(Morgenthau 1985: 153). Morgenthau also considered the quality of government to be

another element o f national power that was a step above the others. He pointed out that a

good government must choose the objectives and methods of its policy in view of the

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power available to support them with a maximum chance of success, and exploit the

possibility o f what could be called a magic bullet element of national power (Morgenthau

1985: 162-164).

Following Morgenthaus analysis of relations between political values and national

power, various scholars have different views on the role of political values (like democracy

and human rights) in a countrys foreign policy. For example, Samuel Huntingtons belief

that the promotion of democracy is not a proper objective of foreign policy has many

supporters. Huntington wrote: The belief that non-Westem peoples should adopt Western

values, institutions, and culture, is if taken seriously, immoral in its implications.. .The

interests of the West are not served by promiscuous intervention into the disputes of other

peoples (Huntington 1996: 41). On the contrary, Francis Fukuyama argues that the

progression of human history as a struggle between ideologies is largely at an end, with the

world settling on democratic ideals, free market capitalism, and related neo-liberal

economic policies after the end of the Cold War.106 He wrote, What we may be

witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post

war history, but the end o f history as such: that is, the end point of mankinds ideological

evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human

government (Fukuyama 1992).

While Nye does not try to repudiate the above two views of the role of political

values in international relations, he defines political values as an important component of

106 Some argue that Fukuyama presents the American-style democracy as the only
correct political system and that all countries must inevitably follow this example.
However, some others claim this is a misreading of his work. For them, Fukuyama is not
trying to argue for active promotion of Western values. Fukuyama just want to points out
that in the future there will be more governments to adopt the framework o f parliamentary
democracy and take the path to market economy.

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soft power that are important to a countrys foreign policy, but cannot be imposed on other

countries. He wrote, ... soft power is more than just cultural power. The values our

government champions in its behavior at home (for example, democracy), in international

institutions (listening to others), and in foreign policy (promoting peace and human rights)

also affect the preferences o f others (Nye 2002a: 11). Nye emphasized that, for in order to

increase the attractiveness of political values, it is more important to successfully

implement them at home than to attempt to spread those values abroad. According to Nye,

Political values like democracy and human rights can be powerful sources of attraction,

but it is not enough just to proclaim them .. .Others watch how Americans implement our

values at home as well as abroad.. .How America behaves at home can enhance its image

and perceived legitimacy, and that in turn can help advance its foreign policy objectives

(Nye 2004a, 55-57). However, he points out that even when honestly applied, political

values can repel some people at the same time that they attract others. (Nye 2002a: 11; Nye

2004a: 55). He gave some specific examples, American feminism, open sexuality, and

individual choices are profoundly subversive in patriarchal societies.. .individualism and

liberties are repulsive to the fundamentalists .. .despite admiration for the American

practice o f freedom o f speech, countries like Germany and South Africa have histories that

make them wish to prohibit hate crimes that could not be punished under the American

First Amendment (Nye 2004a: 56). Based on the above description of the role of political

values in international relations, the following assessment o f Chinas soft power in political

values will focus on both its positive impacts and negative impacts.

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Historical Analysis of Chinas Ancient Political Attractiveness

Before assessing Chinas current political values and policies, it is necessary to review

Chinas soft power in the perspective of political values in ancient history, modem history

and the pre-reform era. Historical comparison will help evaluate the attractiveness of

Chinas political values and policies in the current reform period. Generally speaking, in

traditional China, political power was maintained, to great extent, by cultural means; the

socio-political order relied heavily on ideological support - such as the teachings of

imperial Confucianism inculcated through examinations that produced the local elite or

gentry (Fairbank 1968: 273).

The Tang dynasty, the apex of ancient Chinese civilization, demonstrated the most

efficient political governance throughout Chinas history. The Tang emperors set up a

strong centralized system of government, in which they selected government officials on

the basis o f merit and education through civil service examinations. With a staff of only

13,465 officials, the Tang government was able to oversee a population of more then 50

million people. In order to make the government more efficient, Tang government

developed a uniform legal system that was updated regularly. While ensuring the

livelihood of farming families, the Tang government also implemented an equal allocation

system in order to increase tax revenues and production. Its religious policy tolerated all

faiths and encouraged religious communities to support the government and help integrate

members into the new society. Tang also expanded and standardized the school systems in

both the capital and the provinces. The Tang dynasty made great advancements in the

areas of political values and policies, and their advancements would allow the Tang

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govemment to become the model of governance in East Asia. In the Tang Era, other

peoples, who either successfully resisted Chinese imperialism or were beyond the reach of

Chinese power, nonetheless voluntarily studied and adopted Chinese political and cultural

practices (Cohen 2000: 62).

Neo-Confucianism, developed by the philosopher Zhu Xi who synthesized elements

of Buddhism and Taoism with Confucianism, dominated Chinas official state ideology

from the late Song dynasty through the beginning of the 20th century.107 After being first

introduced in the Song dynasty (960-1279) and perfectly incorporated into the civil service

examination system o f the Ming dynasty, neo-Confucianism evolved into a rigid creed and

was tremendously attractive to Chinas subsequent rulers. In the Yuan and Qing dynasties,

which were established by Chinas northern Mongol and Manchu minorities, rulers

employed traditional Chinese political values, rather than the forceful techniques of

conquerors. They continued using the Confucian civil service exam to recruit government

officials, and recognized neo-Confucianism as the only political ideology for the state.

Until the middle of the 19th century, neo-Confucianism dominated intellectual and spiritual

life in China, Korea, and Japan.

Although neo-Confucianism was regarded as very an attractive set of political

values for conquerors such as the Mongols and Manchu, and other countries like Korea and

107 While Buddhism reached a creative and flourishing peak during the Tang dynasty (618-
907), the conservative social elite in the Song dynasty (979-1279) reacted to the foreign
religion and tried to revitalize the stagnant Confucian tradition. In the political world they
launched reform movement and attempted to address the pressing socioeconomic problems
of the day through a creative reinterpretation o f ancient ideal Confucian institutions. In the
spiritual world they found a long lost ascetical doctrine dealing with the cultivation of the
inner life of the mind and metaphysics that could frame this with a philosophical account of
sagehood, self-cultivation, and, ultimately, the universe. See Chang, The Development o f
Neo-Confucian Thought.

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Japan, it greatly inhibited development of pre-modem Chinese society and cultural and
th
political institutional change throughout the 19 century. During this time, Western

powers were undergoing drastic economic and social changes. Throughout the history of

Chinese political thought, the need for obedience to authority has been a constant retrain.

From a purely practical point of view, this incentive for citizens to obey authority was also

encouraged by the Confucian intellectual tradition, which pursued a stable social order not

merely as an end in itself but as a necessary condition for the material prosperity and the

moral improvement of all its individual members (Wood 1995: 148). For example, foreign

commerce was popularly regarded as anathema to the true Chinese spirit of government by

the powerful neo-Confucian bureaucracy in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Eventually,

China revived a strict, agrarian-centered society after Cheng Hes seven maritime

expeditions in the early 15th century. Also, after neo-Confucianism dominated the civil

service exams, this efficient way of selecting new government officials had been gradually

simplified not only in the contents but also in the forms. This simplification resulted in the

development o f the eight-legged essay (baguwen) which was intended to make it easier

for candidates to order and express their thoughts and for readers to evaluate answers.

However, forced to conform to this essay forms elaborately parallel structure, candidates

ultimately paid more attention to style than content, inhibiting individual thought and

creativity. For hundreds o f years as Chinas only political ideology, neo-Confucianism had

become an important tool to support the emperors dictatorship. When modem Western

political thought was gradually introduced to Asian countries in the 19th century, neo-

Confucianism quickly declined in popularity not only among many Chinese intellectuals,

but also in other East Asian countries.

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From the first Opium War in 1840 to the establishment of the Peoples Republic of

China in 1949, China was a political pupil to all kinds of Western political thoughts rather

than a transmitter of its own political values. Once the CCP became the exclusive power in

mainland China, Maos revolutionary ideology grew in its appeal to large groups of

peoples in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and even to some leftists in Europe and the US.108

For its admirers, both western and non-western, China had pioneered a new version of

Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist modernization during its splendid isolation from western

capitalism (Jones 2001: 147). In the developing world, political leaders equated Maoism

the struggle against Western colonialism and a tool for winning national independence.109

Ernesto Che Guevara, the legendary Latin American revolutionary, was a loyal follower of

Maoism. Maoist student groups played a prominent role in the anti-Vietnam War

movement in the US in the 1960s. In 1970s, Turkish Maoists were loyalist defenders of

Maoism, and attempted to localize Marxism in Turkish political life, using Maoism as a

guide. The appeal of Chinas revolutionary model to some extent helped China gain

leverage in the international arena. Yet in the post-Cold War era, with the arrival of third

wave democratization, the attractiveness of Maoist ideology declined dramatically.

108 In Europe, several parties that were created in the 1960s and 1970s under the influence
of Mao Zedong Thought continue to support his ideas. Among the most active are the
Workers Communist Party of Norway, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany, the Maoist
Communist Party (Turkey-Northern Kurdistan), the Communist Organization of Greece,
and others. However, the strongest Maoist parties exist outside the Western world, mainly
in Latin America such as the Revolutionary Communist Party o f Argentina, and in Asia
like the Communist Party o f Nepal (Maoist), the Communist Party of the Philippines,
several Indian parties, etc.

109 It should be noted that in its English-language publications, the Chinese Government
has never used the word Maoism - Mao Zedong Thought has always been the preferred
term. Likewise, Maoist groups outside China have usually called themselves Marxist-
Leninist rather than Maoist. The term of Maoist has been used either as a pejorative
term by other communists, or as a descriptive term by non-communist writers.

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Indeed, the only substantial organization currently identifying itself as Maoist is the

Communist Party o f Nepal, which is still conducting a rural insurgency against the

government.110

However, assessments o f the attractiveness of communist Chinas political values in

the pre-reform era from 1949 to 1978 may produce disputable results, in both domestic and

foreign arenas. In Morgenthaus view, a democratic system that successfully addressed

popular aspirations was the best foundation for strong national morale (Morgenthau 1985:

197). Consequently, national morale could be undermined by undemocratic rule, ethnic or

national dissension, and class divisions. In its modem history, Chinas national morale has

always been poor compared to democratic countries. China has been governed by various

undemocratic regimes that denied all basic civil rights to its citizens. Before the CCP

dominated the mainland China, both traditional and modem values have emphasized

communitarian ideals which, to great extent, justified the widespread existence of

inequality at all levels o f China society (Wilson 2005: 3-17). The CCP inherited Chinas

traditional political culture - the notion of an omnipresent and penetrative view of the state.

From 1949 to 1978, unchallenged by other organizations such as an independent church

and labor unions, the state assumed an all-encompassing role that included defining correct

ethical values. Local officials were instructed to embody and proselytize political and

social values, and the masses were expected to simply follow the examples provided to

them (Saich 2001: 194).

110 In general, the current Chinese government is strongly apposed to all kinds of foreign
Maoist movements. China sees them as having hopelessly strayed from the principles of
Mao Zedong Thoughts. Beijing is officially supports the Nepalese government in its fight
against the Maoists. As explained by the Chinese ambassador to Nepal: China labels the
insurgents as anti-government outfits, and we never call them as Maoists. They misuse the
name of Chairman Mao, which impairs the image of the great leader of China.

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However, Morgenthau may still have granted China a high national morale rating in

the period from 1949 to 1978. He argued that the modem totalitarian regime (such as the

Soviet Union) had succeeded in filling the gap between the government and the people

through the use o f democratic symbols, totalitarian control of public opinion, and policies

actually or seemingly benefiting the people. Practically all national energies flow into the

channels chosen by the government, and the identification of the individual with the

state... (Morgenthau 1985: 158). The issue became whether China had an efficient

totalitarian system in terms of the ability to mobilize genuine popular support for its foreign

policies. The key to this judgment, in Morgenthaus view, was whether totalitarian

governments are or seem to be successful, or can at least hold out hope for success. In the

Mao Era, Mao Zedong was referred to as the great teacher, the CCP took on the role of

political socialization, and a policy of infantilization of society was pursued. Individuals

were treated as children who did not know what was in their own best interests (Saich

2001: 200). From this perspective, before 1978, Chinese people blindly and closely united

around the CCP, and Chinas national morale had remained relatively high.

Assessment of Chinas Political Soft Power in its Modernization Process

After 10 years of stagnation and chaos in the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), most

Chinese have gradually come to accept that modernization111 in its broadest sense is a

necessary and desirable goal, and its realization must rely on continuous reforms in every

111 In this session, I used a lot of materials that I collected from my elite interviews in
China and the US to discuss how Chinese social elites and foreign China observers
interpret Chinas political attractiveness.

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aspect of life in China. During the last twenty-five years, reforms have not only led to a

significant liberalization o f previous regime practices in terms of strict party control over

the economy and society, but also helped free the social elite from the rigid dogmatic

Marxism of the Mao Era. Put simply, Chinas modernization process has greatly changed

the social and political values in todays China. All these changes have directly affected

Chinas political attractiveness domestically and globally. However, regarding how

Chinas political attractiveness changed in its modernization process, there has always been

an implicit tension among Chinese social elites,112 which include mainly the so-called

moderates and liberals,113 and among foreign China observers, which can be divided

into the so-called positivists and pessimists. Chinese moderates and foreign

positivists feel that Chinas political attractiveness is strengthening while the Chinese

government is leading its people to design a new and efficient development model. In

contrast, Chinese liberals and foreign pessimists see a decline in Chinas political

attractiveness while Deng and his successors have always stressed the need to continue the

112 In Chinese terminology, left has the connotation of being conservative, doctrinaire,
and in tune with Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. In current China, the
extreme left (radical Maoist) almost disappeared after the end of the Cultural Revolution in
1976. The pro-reform movement has become the mainstream of Chinese political elites and
intellectual elites. Although there are still a few high-level officials who oppose further
economic reforms, their influence has been dwindling gradually. Those who have negative
attitudes toward further reform are called neo-leftists or conservatives.

113 The liberals here are different from those political dissenters who call for democratic
elections and a multi-party political system. In the 1980s, Chinas political and intellectual
elites had some kind of political reform dream. In the 1990s, Chinas social elites past
dream of democratic election and multi-party political system had been crushed by the
post-reform realities in Russia and Eastern European countries. This is one of the reasons
why Chinas political elites and most intellectual elites are short of the passion needed for
complete westem-style political reform. Some of them even consider Chinas current
political system the most suitable for Chinas modernization process.

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CCPs authoritarian rule and refused to implement political reform so as to realize a

Comprehensive Modernization.114

Chinese moderates interpret Chinas modernization process mainly on the basis of

economic development and national strength improvement rather than the evolution of

Chinas social and political values in the reform period. In an effort to determine the type

of development model that would best aid China in its modernization process, many

moderate and even some foreign positivist China observers have tried to apply

Huntingtons views to study the evolution of Chinas political values in its reform era.115

According to Huntington, an enlightened authoritarian government, though itself

unjustified, could make use o f its powerful central authority to promote reform (Huntington

1969). The so-called neo-authoritarian school, comprised mostly of Chinese scholars,

stresses that an analysis o f Chinas political values should not ignore the complicated

mechanisms o f Chinas political and social reality. They do not oppose modernization and

political reform, but think it could be realized only in non-modem ways. They worry that

some Western political values, such as mass democracy, may return China to a vicious

cycle of mass mobilization, violent revolution, political disorder, social chaos, and even

114 In order to end the Cultural Revolution as soon as possible, the Former Premier Zhou
Enlai outlined the policy o f the Four Modernization (agriculture, industry, science and
technology, and national defense), a policy that he had presented in 1964. The policy
envisaged a two-stage program with the first objective being to build an independent and
relatively comprehensive industrial and economic system by 1980, with the second
objective being to bring the national economy to the front ranks o f the world by the year
2000. Although China had reached these two goals through its 25-year reform process,
many critics point out that the Four Modernization only demonstrates concern with
economic reform and ignores the need for an accompanying modernization of other aspects
of society, especially political reform. They call for a comprehensive modernization.

115 There are at least two Chinese translations of Samuel Huntingtons Political Order in
Changing Societies published in China between 1987 and 1989.

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dictatorship. Even though most neo-authoritarians accept the basic values of democracy,

they prefer to reform China according to their interpretations o f Chinese reality and

tradition. For them, the political attractiveness of modern-day China comes from Chinas

efficient development model and high-profile economic achievements. These reforms have

been positioned as a success in economic development, due to Chinas economy averaging

a 9 percent growth per year leading to a significant rise in Chinas political attractiveness.

While the reformers have converted new political values into a new development

model for Chinas pursuit of modernization, they have abolished its social ownership of the

means of production -- the other main pillar of a centrally planned economy. Since the end

of the 1970s, the Chinese leadership has begun moving the economy from a sluggish,

inefficient, Soviet-style centrally-planned economy to a more liberal, market-oriented

system. As shown in Table 6.1, reform ushered in forces that dramatically changed

Chinas economic landscape. If measured by purchasing power parity, China has already

become the worlds second largest economy. If measured by exchange rate, within six

Table 6.1 Chinas Economic Prowess

Item Estimate Rank


GDP (PPP) $6,449 trillion 2
Annual GDP growth rate (2004 est.) 9.5% 1
Foreign direct investment $53 billion 1
Exports $436.1 billion 4
Imports $397.4 billion 3
Foreign exchange reserve $412.7 billion 2
Telephones (fixed line in use) 263 million 1
Telephones (mobile) 269 million 1
Internet users 79.5 million 2
Source: The CIA World Factbook (2004).

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-147-

years, Chinas economy will be double that of Germanys, now the worlds third largest; by

2020, China is expected to surpass Japan.

Underlying Chinas strengthening economic prowess, there exists a tortuous,

complicated and ongoing process through which China is searching for its own

development model. China does not want to copy the models of the West but, in the words

of Deng Xiaoping, wishes to combine Chinese ideas with Western experience. Therefore,

the China model differs from that of the West, and Chinas economic development cannot

be measured in terms o f western economic theories (Harris 2005: 7-27). Foremost, China

has ensured that it will control, localize and administer its own future. After the Berlin

Wall fell, most observers predicted that the 21st century would be a European century, led

by a unified Germanys financial capital and high technology prowess, and a Russia rich in

human capital and natural resources. The big-bang prescription for Eastern Europe and

Russia - wholesale privatization and rapid liberalization - was hailed as the optimal design

for quick conversion from command to market economy, while Chinas experimental

approach - controlled decentralization and gradual liberalization - was criticized as a half

hearted reform full o f traps and contradictions. In the 1990s, the Washington Consensus

was famous for its prescriptive and Washington-knows-best approach to advise other

nations how to run themselves. This model, based on the threat of economic sanctions and

the inducement of financial aid from Western countries, has left a trail of destroyed

economies and bad feelings around the world.

In contrast, the prestige of Chinas developmental model has been established on its

own attractiveness. Chinas economic miracle has also presented the developing world a

recipe for success. As an economic development model, the Beijing Consensus is viewed

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as an alternative to the widely discredited Washington Consensus. Joshua Cooper Ramo

summarized the Beijing Consensus as follows:

To the degree Chinas development is changing China is important; but what is far
more important is that Chinas new ideas are having a gigantic effect outside of
China.. .Chinas new development approach is driven by a desire to have equitable,
peaceful high-quality growth, critically speaking, it turns traditional ideas like
privatization and free trade on their heads. It is flexible enough that it is barely
classifiable as a doctrine. It does not believe in uniform solutions for every
situation. It is defined by a ruthless willingness to innovate and experiment, by a
lively defense of national borders and interests, and by increasingly thoughtful
accumulation o f tools of asymmetric power projection. It is pragmatic and
ideological at the same time, a reflection of an ancient Chinese philosophical
outlook that makes little distinction between theory and practice... (Beijing
Consensus holds) the pragmatic idea that the best path for modernization is
groping for stones to cross the river, instead of trying to make one-big, shock-
therapy leap (Ramo 2004: 3-4).

Regarding how attractive Chinas development model is around the world, a Yale

economist Jeffrey E. Garten has made the following interesting comment:

Hard as it is for Americans to fathom, the Chinese economic model could also
become an attractive alternative to the free market fundamentalism that the US is so
fond of trying to push onto other countries. It hasnt gone unnoticed in Asia that the
more highly controlled Chinese economic system survived the late-1990s financial
crisis in the region while US disciples such as Thailand and South Korea imploded.
Nor has it gone unnoticed that the democracies in countries like the Philippines and
Indonesia have not produced sound economic policies, or that democracies such as
India have extreme difficulty staying on a steady economic course. When countries
as diverse as Iran and Uzbekistan wrestle with how to move up the economic
ladder, they may well find the authoritarian, slow-as-she-goes approach to
modernization that Beijing pursues as more relevant than the deregulatory policies
of Uncle Sam (Garten 2004).

While no systematic data is available to evaluate the popularity of this model, it is clear that

the Beijing Consensus is influencing the development paths of some major powers.

Under the rule o f President Putin, Russia is beginning to adopt the Beijing Consensus

through reduced emphasis on democracy and greater focus on policies to encourage the

role of market in the economy (Elliot 2004a). The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

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repeatedly exhorted Indian companies to emulate the China model and globalize their

operations.116 According to an Indian sociologist, Chinas experiment should be the most

admired in human history.. .China has its own path.. .looking east means looking to China

(Angarwala 2002). Brazilian President Lula has shown tremendous interest in China since
tH th
he was elected. Much like the Japanese who sent study missions to China in the 7 and 8

centuries, Brazil is sending study teams to Beijing. So far, Vietnam has been keenly

observing China in both the economic and political fields. It is closely following Chinas

reforms steps, which include the transformation of state-owned enterprises, the

establishment o f a stock market and the restructuring of wages and social policies in its

run-up to join the WTO.117

Chinas successful economic growth model has had strong implications on its soft

power. The booming economy has lured an increasing number of overseas Chinese back to

China. Chinas stable politics and bright future also makes Chinas currency - Renminbi -

the second reserve currency in Southeast Asia. Perhaps more importantly, Chinas

newfound economic might means that it is no longer prohibitively expensive for American

allies or friends to defect the US. Aware that China is now vital to their economic well

being, former US allies such as South Korea are no longer as willing as they once were to

position themselves opposite Beijing, even if this means going against Washington. With

116 At a business meeting held in January 22, 2005, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh said that his country should look to China as a role model as it tries to step up
economic growth rates and grab a greater share of global trade. He said, When we look at
a country like China, what it has achieved in the last 20 years, I think thats the role model
that we have to look a t.. .Our motto and our goal should be to do as well as a country like
China does, whether it is in the area of GDP growth, growth of manufactures, growth of
trade or growth of infrastructure, Reuters 22 January 2005.

117 See Eric Teo Chu Cheow, China lights Vietnams path, The Japan Times 18 2004.

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South Koreas cooperative policies shown in its dealing with the North Korean nuclear

crisis, it allows Beijing to be a critical player or agenda setter in regional affairs. Strong

economic interdependence has already affected some US allies policies toward Taiwan.

The Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, has indicated several times that

Australia would have great reservations about joining the US should a conflict break out

over Taiwan. Moreover, all countries in Southeast Asia have already backed Chinas claim

to sovereignty over Taiwan.118

The attractiveness of Chinas developmental model is further enhanced by a series

of domestic policies pursued by the new Chinese leadership. These new economic and

social-political programs are termed the New Deal (xinzheng) by scholars and media,

reminiscent o f the programs and policies to promote economic recovery and social reform

introduced in the US in the 1930s by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Li 2004; Yu 2003;

Lam 2002). According to an American Chinese scholar, Cheng Li, the New Deal

incorporates three interrelated aspects:

.. .more balanced regional economic development to reduce regional disparity,


increase employment, and stimulate the domestic market.. .increased concern for
social justice, fairness, and the need to create a social safety n et.. .greater political
transparency and institutionalization... (Li 2003)

Some journalists summarize the New Deal as prosperity under one-party rule, more

upward mobility, a relatively efficient and clean government - but no Westem-style

democracy.119 The New Deal represents the Partys increased efforts to cultivate a new

image for its leadership. It wants to portray its leaders as being in touch with the people

118 See Jane Perlez, Across Asia, Beijings Star Is in Ascendance, New York Times 28
August 2004.

119 See Willy Wo-Lap Lam, Hus new deal, CNN Online 3 December 2002.

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and committed to their best interests. As early as February 2003, President Hu unveiled his

three people principles (power for, sympathy with, and benefit for the people). Drawing

some important lessons from the 2003 SARS crisis, the government has taken a series of

policy measures, including intensifying its anti-corruption campaign, reducing the burden

on farmers, granting legal and equal status for migrant workers in cities, greater attention to

the treatment and care of HIV/AIDS patients, and strengthening environmental initiatives

in the governments policies. These policies are well received by the overseas Chinese

community and have improved the image of Chinese leadership in the international arena.

However, for Chinese liberal and foreign pessimist observers, as Chinas

modernization proceeds, there has been an evolution of Chinas social and political values.

Many of them have begun to question whether one-party rule is viable for the long-term

future. Although the liberals never expected to see China move to a multiparty

democracy overnight, they believe that liberty is prerequisite to the realization of Chinas

modernization dream. In their view, the current form of Western capitalism is no longer

the exploitive system described by classic Marxism, but an intricate regime involving

equally complex political, legal and social institutions, in which government can provide

citizens with the basic conditions for their free pursuit o f various higher goals. They call

for the current Chinese government to adopt Western political values according to its own

national conditions and social reality as soon as possible. For example, Kenneth Lieberthal

predicated that China had become a society with a potential source of major instability,

where the regimes legitimacy strategy is based on a flawed premise of economic growth

satiating political demands, and where in the future the country will be more open,

decentralized, corrupt, regionally and socially diverse, militarily strong, and socially

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tempestuous (Lieberthal 1995: 313, 327, 330). An American Chinese scholar outlines the

negative views about Chinas political future:

In retrospect, the 1990s ought to be viewed as a decade of missed opportunities.


The CCP leadership could have taken advantage of a booming economy to renew
itself through a program of gradual political reform built on the rudimentary steps
of the 1980s. But it did not, and now the cumulative costs of a decade of foot-
dragging are becoming more visible. In many crucial respects, China's hybrid neo
authoritarian order eerily exhibits the pathologies of both the political stagnation of
Leonid Brezhnevs Soviet Union and the crony capitalism of Suhartos Indonesia
(Pei 2002).

In the views o f Chinese liberals and pessimist China observers, the splendid reform

achievements advocated by moderates have being undermined by all kinds of social

injustice, governance crises, etc. They argue that all Chinas current problems are

associated with its outmoded government system. They believe that Chinas current reform

policies and development model are the same with those in which Deng and his followers

had attempted to combine the introduction of economic market forces with tight political

control. All these incomplete or selective reforms will not improve Chinas political

attractiveness very much, and may even weaken its political attractiveness through some

disappointing performance in Chinas modernization process. Chinese liberals and

pessimist China observers insist that only a more liberal regime can solve the myriad

complex political and social problems facing Chinas modernization process.

Widespread corruption is one of the most glaring of Chinas problems, and has

increasingly become the countrys greatest economic blight, its biggest social pollutant

and an important political challenge (Hu 2001: 60). In addition to corruption, Chinas

rapidly expanding income gap is another grave cause of concern. Statistics indicate that the

Gini Coefficient has risen from 0.16 (urban) and 0.21 (rural) at the beginning of reform to

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10(\
the current 0.46 (national average), well above the international danger level of 0.4. A

report based on this nationwide survey shows that the average per capita income of urban

residents was 3.1 times that of rural residents in 2002, much higher than the 1995 figure of
10 1
2.8. As for quality o f life issues, China continues to receive low rankings in public

health services, education, and employment. In 2000, the World Health Organization

analyzed the health care systems of 191 member countries in terms of health care

improvement, government responsiveness, and fairness of health care financing, and found

that China ranked the 144th, close to the bottom of the scale on overall performance, behind

India and Indonesia. Indeed, the populist feature of New Deal itself implies tremendous

governance problems in China today. According to a survey of provincial officials

attending the Central Party School in Beijing (Table 6.2), corruption, income disparity and

unemployment are identified as the most outstanding problems in todays China.

Table 6.2 Judgments of Leading Chinese Cadres on Existing Problems

Most Severe More severe Severe Less Severe


Income Disparity 21.8% 19.5 % 9.8 % 6.0 %
Peasant burden 11.3% 21.1 % 9.0 % 2.3 %
Unemployment 19.5 % 19.5 % 16.5 % 9.0 %
Corruption 18.0% 9.0 % 19.5 %
20.3 %
Source: Qing Lianbin, Opinions On Social Situation in 2002 by Some Officials, in
Shehui lanpishu 2003 nian: Zhongguo shehui xingshi fenxi yu yuce (Blue book o f Chinese
society - Chinas social situation: Analysis and Forecast 2003), ed. Ru Xin, Lu Xueyi, and
Li Peilin (Beijing: Chinese Academy o f Social Sciences press, 2003), p. 128.

120 The Gini Coefficient is a measure of inequality developed by Italian statistician Corrado
Gini. It is usually used to measure income inequality, but can be used to measure any form
of uneven distribution. The Gini coefficient is a number between 0 and 1, where 0
corresponds with perfect equality (where everyone has the same income) and 1 corresponds
with perfect inequality (where one person has all the income, and everyone else has zero
income).

121 The relevant data are quoted from China Statistical Yearbook 2002 (Beijing: National
Bureau of Statistics o f China, 2003).

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Alongside Chinas ongoing subdued political reform and widespread social

conflicts looms a governance crisis. Within this crisis are such daunting challenges as

rampant official corruption, an unprecedented high unemployment rate, growing rural

discontent, environmental degradation, inadequate public health care, and frequent major

industrial accidents, none o f which can be easily remedied. Furthermore, a slowdown in

GDP growth, the collapse o f the banking sector, the burst o f the real estate bubble, and a

recrudescence o f the SARS epidemic are all potential threats to the stability of Chinese

government should any, some, or all of these dangers occur. Despite Chinas vigorous

New Deal, it will face several uphill battles in the years to come (Li 2003). For example,

protests in China appear to be growing in frequency, scale and level of violence,

underscoring the tensions of a society plagued by widespread social injustice and a lack of
100
official channels to air grievances. Compared to the Mao Era, popular support for the

CCP has declined sharply. According to Chinas top police officer, Zhou Yong-kang,

China experienced more than 74,000 major incidents of social unrest in 2004, involving

more than 3.7 million protesters. This figure is up significantly from 58,000 incidents in

2003 and 10,000 in 1994.123 Also, a new article in Economist disclosed that the Chinese

government is increasingly worried about what officials say is a rapid growth in the

number and scale o f public protests. It is predicted that widespread middle-class

122 See relevant report by Kathy Chen, Chinese protests grow more frequent, violent,
Wall Street Journal 5 November 2004.

123 Paul Mooney, China faces up to growing unrest, Asia Times Online 16 November
2004.

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discontent, combined with blue-collar dissatisfaction, promises to be a greater threat to

stability than any that China now faces.124

While assessing Chinas soft power, we can not omit an important factor - 34

million overseas Chinese.125 Not only do they contribute greatly to the global

attractiveness o f Chinese culture, but they also have a large impact on Chinas global

political attractiveness. Increasing international migration, the information revolution and

democratization have propelled a globalization of the domestic politics of many states.

Although diasporic politics are not new, emigrant political participation in homeland

politics has grown and adapted to the new methods of the information revolution

(Koslowski 2005). In the global information age, the Netizens who are closely connected

with China, depending on where they access the Internet, can be divided into Chinas
19ft
domestic Internet users and online Chinese Diasporas. Both groups are devoted to

Chinese nationalist discourse on the Internet. Chinese foreign policy, political reform, etc.

124 See The cauldron boils, Economist 1 October 2005.

125 There are approximately 34 million overseas Chinese living mostly in Southeast Asia,
where they make up a majority of the population of Singapore and significant minority
populations in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. More recent
emigration has been directed primarily to western countries such as the U.S., Canada and
Australia. Overseas Chinese have traditionally played an important role in Chinese politics
since the late 19th century. For example, most of the funding for the Chinese revolution of
1911 came from overseas Chinese, and many overseas Chinese are abroad for political
reasons. Many overseas Chinese are now investing in mainland China, providing financial
resources, social and cultural networks, contacts and opportunities. For a complete
introduction of overseas Chinese and their role in Chinese politics, see Hong Liu, New
Migrants and the Revival o f Overseas Chinese Nationalism, 2005.

126 Some sociologists try to define the online Chinese cultural sphere as comprised of the
Netizens from three symbolic universes: the first consisting of mainland China, Taiwan,
Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore; the second of overseas ethnic Chinese communities
around the world; and the third of individuals who try to understand China intellectually
and bring their understanding to their own communities. See Yang, The Internet and the
Rise of a Transnational Chinese Cultural Sphere.

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are always the hottest topics in these virtual communities. Compared to domestic Internet

users, members o f online Chinese Diasporas tend to be more financially fit and better

educated than most o f the public at home, and they have greater opportunities to freely air

their views. Therefore, nationalist sentiment can serve as a double-edged sword, which

may help China raise its standing abroad and further regime goals, but can also

dramatically increase its political clout at home and be critical of the regime, usually for its

perceived weakness in dealing with other countries (Kalathil and Boas 2003: 149-50).

As Nye critically analyzed Americas implementation of its advocated values at

home, he concluded that a decline in the quality of American society or unattractive

policies at home could reduce Americas attractiveness and damage its soft power (Nye

2004: 58). Chinas development has a contradictory and varied character: China is

strengthening and maturing in political and economic power while simultaneously

exhibiting signs o f weakness and fragmentation (Jones 2001:198). The mixed outcome of

Chinas economic and political development complicates its efforts to increase soft power

in these areas. To begin with, the development approach of market reform, democracy

still, which features authoritarianism and crony capitalism, is unlikely to be widely

accepted as a viable alternative to democracy and market-based capitalism. Second,

without a balanced development agenda, Chinas economic growth will be difficult to

sustain. If an economic crisis sets in, the Beijing Consensus would be quickly

discredited, much like the devaluing of Asian values in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian

Financial Crisis. There are even predictions that if the state fails to develop institutions

capable o f adequately addressing its rising social problems, China could face a Latin

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Americanization characterized by a polarized urban society, intensifying urban conflict,

and failed economic promise (Gilboy and Heginbotham 2004).

While Chinas disappointing performance in dealing with political reform and

social injustice are weakening its political attractiveness, many observers also worry that

China has lost or distorted its traditional political values in the modernization process.

There are two trains of thought: the first being that Chinas traditional political

values/culture cannot resist the so-called corrosive influence of the Western political

values/culture. According to Richard W. Wilson,

One reason for the revulsion in China against the excesses associated with the
Cultural Revolution was the belief that communitarian values had been pushed to
such an extreme that violence had become sanctioned as a way to enforce political
inequality. In the contemporary period the pendulum has swung in the opposite
direction and many individuals, including Party cadres, are exercising a new-found
individualism for personal gain although bedrock social values remain
communitarian (Wilson 2005: 3-17).

Second, although CCP leaders continuously insist that the party must reaffirm its

leading role in the realm o f ideology and the guidance of the nations ethnial and moral

values, the Party has a significant problem in its inability to articulate a vision of Chinas

future from a moral and ideological perspective. Tony Saich points out:

The need to cover policy direction with the fig-leaf of socialism has made it
difficult to outline what the future society would look like and how the relationship
between state and society will change. The CCP cannot provide a moral framework
for society meaning that the centrifugal tendencies can increase. People are more
likely to seek spiritual guidance in alternatives or simply adopt a me-first or
family-first approach to life (Saich 2001: 311).

Without a philosophy to bind its millions of subjects together, the CCP fears that

China will become nothing more than a loose heap of sand (Murray 1998: 112).127 An

outstanding example of this sentiment is the decline of the Partys sanctioned ideology

127 Deng Xiaoping often used the term a loose heap of sand to describe the chaotic
situation in China after it became a republic in the early 20th century.

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among Chinas college students. Since the Tiananmen Crackdown, the Party has stepped

up its efforts to recruit college students and impose CCP ideals o them. Paradoxically, the

results are barely effective. According to the relevant research on Party recruitment of

college students, the rise o f materialism and pragmatism among Chinas youth has

important ramifications on the domestic attractiveness of Chinas political values. Large

numbers o f todays Chinese college students strive to join the Party, however it appears

that their interest is generated primarily by personal pragmatic concern for future career

advancement rather than the appeal of communism or socialism (Guo 2005).

In this Chapter, I have analyzed some general Chinese political values, discussed

how they have been implemented in Chinas history and modernization process, and

assessed Chinas political soft power. I found China had achieved some gains in terms of

the attractiveness o f certain Chinese political values and its development model within the

country and around the world. However, compared to its cultural soft power resources, the

further development o f Chinas political soft power resources have more obstacles to

overcome in the future. Some even believe Chinas outmoded political system will not

only place its political attractiveness in peril, but also put China itself in a governance

crisis, worsening most o f problems it is facing in its modernization process. If a countrys

soft power also depends on its domestic performance, it appears that the Chinese

government has not done a persuasive job in enhancing its political image and perceived

legitimacy. Since a countrys domestic performance has important implications for the

advancement o f its foreign policy goals, in next chapter, I will analyze the substance and

style of Chinas foreign policy to assess Chinas soft power in foreign policy, and

determine whether Chinas cultural and political soft power have direct influence on it.

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Chapter VII Assessment of Chinas Soft Power in Foreign Policy

According to Morgenthau, although the quality of diplomacy in international politics is an

immeasurable and unstable element in national power, it is the most important element.

Diplomacy is the brains o f national power, as morale is its soul. A nation that has strong

capabilities but underdeveloped diplomacy must yield to one whose diplomacy is prepared

to make the most o f whatever other elements of power are at its disposal, thus making up

through its own excellence for deficiencies in other fields (Morgenthau 1985: 159).

Furthermore, Morgenthau contends that nations must rely on the quality of their

diplomacy to act as a catalyst for the different factors that constitute their power

(Morgenthau 1985: 140-142). Influenced by realism, neo-liberal theory, especially as

articulated by Robert Keohane, declares that regimes can be viewed as intermediate

factors, or intervening variables, between fundamental characteristics of world politics

such as the international distribution of power on the one hand and the behavior of states

and non-state actors such as the multinational corporations on the other (Keohane 1984:

64). Based on this theoretical framework, Nye argued that if [a state] can establish

international norms consistent with its society, it is less likely to have to change. If it can

support institutions that make other states wish to channel or limit their activities in ways

the dominant state prefers, it may be spared the costly exercise of coercive or hard power

(Nye 1990c: 153-171).

Cultural and political attractiveness are important power elements, but foreign

policy substance and style are both the most volatile and the most susceptible elements to

government control (Nye 2004a: 68). All countries pursue their national interest in foreign

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policy, but there are choices to be made about how broadly or narrowly we define our

national interest, as well as the means by which we pursue it (Nye 2004a: 60). Foreign

policies can contribute to soft power when they are seen as legitimate and having moral

authority, and when they enhance the ability to manipulate the agenda in a manner that

makes others fail to express some preferences because they seem to be too unrealistic.

According to Nye:

.. .co-optive (soft) power is the ability o f a country to structure a situation so that


other countries develop preferences or define their interests in ways consistent with
its own. This power tends to arise from such resources as cultural and ideological
attraction as well as rules and institutions of international regimes (Nye 1990c).

By sensibly recommending a series of policy initiatives, Nye believes a strong, attractive

foreign policy in the global information age should be strengthening public and cultural

diplomacy, promoting a grand strategy and global public goods, possessing a general (not

exclusive) preference for multilateralism, campaigning for the values of democracy and

human rights globally, etc (Nye 2004c). Usually, foreign policies based on broadly held

values are more likely to attract cooperation. For example, federalism, democracy and

open markets represented core American values in the latter half of the 20th century when

US-led Cold War alliances were built (Lundestad quoted in Nye 2004a: 61). Shared values

in the 21st century should also include the maintenance of international order, control over

weapons of mass destruction, inhibition of terrorism and illicit drugs, and the promotion of
1OH
trade, economic growth and environmental causes. Moreover, the possession of power

resources influences policy outcomes, but it does not automatically translate into desired

128 See similar arguments in Nye, Soft Power, 61. According to Nye, in the 21st century
the United States has an interest in maintaining a degree of international order. It needs to
influence distant governments and organizations on a variety of issues such as proliferation
of weapons o f mass destruction, terrorism, drugs, trade, resources, and ecological damage
that affect Americans as well as others.

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outcomes, which also require well-designed strategies and savvy diplomacy. Compared to

a countrys cultural and political values, the substance and style of its foreign policy is a

more direct vehicle for developing its soft power (Nye 2004d).

Based on the above arguments on sources of soft power in the perspective of

foreign policy, I will analyze the attractiveness of Chinas foreign policy in history and

then the foreign policy aspect of Chinas soft power in its modernization process.

Historical Analysis of the Attractiveness of Ancient Chinese Foreign Policy

Chinas 5,000-year history is characterized by periods of civil harmony and upheaval,

economic prosperity and depression, and political stability and unrest. Despite this

repeated internal cycle, Chinas external policy was, during most o f its history, one of

solitude - distinctly more isolationist than imperialist. Chinas long history as one of the

worlds oldest and richest civilizations has affected its foreign relations in various ways.

For centuries the Chinese empire enjoyed basically unchallenged self-sufficiency. China

saw itself as the cultural center of the universe, and viewed non-Han Chinese peoples as

uncivilized barbarians. Although China was occasionally overrun and ruled by those

barbarians, those non-Han Chinese rulers usually retained enough Chinese institutions to

maintain a continuity o f tradition. Because the Chinese emperor was considered the ruler

of all mankind by virtue o f his innate superiority, relations with other states or entities were

tributary, rather than state-to-state relations between equals. Chinas view of itself as the

undisputed center of human civilization remained basically unchanged until the 19th

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century, when the Qing dynasty had already begun its decline in contrast to the rise of

modem Western powers.

Such a perception of the world - a phenomenon called sinocentrism - had a crucial

impact on Chinas foreign relations with the outside world in ancient history, modem

history, and even in the pre-reform era. For example, historically, there was no Chinese

equivalent o f a foreign ministry until the 20th century; foreign relations with China

primarily consisted o f other nations making tributary missions in hopes of establishing a

trade relationship. The first Europeans who sought trade with China, beginning in the 16th

century, were received as tributary missions and required to conform to the formalities and

rituals of the tribute system at the Chinese court. The other major aspect of Chinese

foreign policy was simply to keep neighboring barbarians outside Chinas borders. Work

on the Great Wall began as early as the 3rd century B.C. in order to defend against the raids

of nomadic tribes. Also, since the beginning of the Ming dynasty, under the strong

influence of conservative neo-Confucianism, China has focused on maintaining its existing

territory rather than expanding it. Overall, the sinocentric worldview and Chinas history

of centuries o f self-sufficiency favored isolation, which contributed to Chinas difficulties

when it was first confronted by expansionist Western powers in the 19th century. Until the

late 1980s, an issue o f great debate remained whether China should continue to be self-

reliant and safeguard itself from possible corruption by foreign influences, or open up to

the outside world in order to modernize itself more quickly. As Alastair Iain Johnston

concluded, the characteristics of Chinese strategic culture have changed little from Sun Zi

through Mao Zedong. These characteristics include:

a theoretical and practical preference for strategic defense - earthworks, walls,


garrisons, static positional defense, accompanied by diplomatic intrigue and alliance

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building rather than the invasion, subjugation, or extermination of the adversary; a


preference for limited war, or the restrained application of force for clearly
enunciated political ends; an apparently low estimation of the efficacy of violence,
as embodied for instance in Sun Zis oft-cited phrase, not fighting and subduing
the enemy is the supreme level of skill (Johnston 1994: 25).

In Chinas modem history (1840-1949), when its closed door was forced to open to

Western powers, Chinas traditional self-reliance gave way to reluctant interaction with the

outside world. Chinas stubborn view of itself as the Middle Kingdom gradually gave

way to two mentalities of foreign policy-making. On the one hand, the Chinese peoples

perception of their nations position in the world was continuously informed by a

conviction that political incursion, economic exploitation, and military aggression by

foreign imperialist countries had undermined the historical glory of the Chinese civilization

and humiliated their nation. Consequently, a victim mentality gradually began to dominate

the Chinese conceptualization of its relations with the outside world (Chen 2001: 12). On

the other hand, a traditional concept of using barbarians to control barbarians continued

to have relevance through Chinas desire for national security in a very antagonistic
1 >JQ

international situation. In modem times, this practice has taken the form of using

relations with one foreign power as a counterweight to relations with another. There are

two examples: Chinas policy of leaning to one side in the Sino-Soviet alliance of the

1950s for support against the threat of so-called American imperialism; and Beijings

rapprochement with the US in the 1970s to counteract the threat o f so-called Soviet

revisionism which China perceived as more dangerous at that time. However, Chinas

129 The Han Emperor Wudi (141-87 B.C.) was renowned for his policy of using barbarians
to control barbarians, making alliances with one border nomads against more distant
tribes. This policy worked for the most part and allowed the establishment of the Silk Road
trade route which connected China with West Asia and the Roman Empire.

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strong desire for sovereignty and independence of action made those two alliances short

lived.

In the Mao Era, Chinese foreign policy was often framed in controversial terms.

Generally speaking, from 1949 to the end of 1970s, ideology factored heavily in Chinas

foreign policy. The Chinese leaders in the Mao Era believed that the world was still in the

era of imperialism and proletarian revolution and that the people of the world must unite to

fight against imperialism (the US), revisionism (the Soviet Union) and all the anti

revolutionaries of the world. When tension between Mao and other members of the CCP

elite, as well as between the Communist regime and Chinas ordinary people, intensified
1 Tfl
after the failure o f the Great Leap Forward, a revolutionary foreign policy further served

as an effective - and probably the only available - way through which Mao could enhance

both his authority and the legitimacy of his permanent revolution theory (Chen 2001: 11).

Thus, Chinas foreign policy in this period was strongly branded with ideological

tendencies. China made broader international efforts to foster armed struggle and

revolution against imperialism and its supporters. This was especially the case in the

1960s, when the radicalization of Chinas foreign policy led to its worldwide promotion of

national liberation movements. For a short time in China the Red Guards sat in the Foreign

Ministry supervising officials conducting foreign affairs, and they even burned down the

130 The Great Leap Forward was a nation-wide campaign by the CCP from 1958 to 1960
aimed at using Chinas plentiful supply of cheap labor to rapidly industrialize the country.
However, it turned out to be a major economic disaster, in which as inflated statistics
reached planning authorities, orders were given to divert human resources into industry
rather than agriculture. Various sources put the death toll at about 30 million people with
the majority of the deaths owed to starvation in the three years from 1959 to 1961.

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British Embassy and humiliated Soviet diplomats in Beijing.131 At one point, China was in

diplomatic disputes with three quarters of the countries with which it had diplomatic

relations. In the eyes o f Chinas neighboring countries in the pre-reform era, China was a

dangerous and unpredictable country with no attractiveness at all.

However, Maos foreign policy had a certain appeal to many developing countries

from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, a period when China was more or less estranged

from both the US and Soviet Union. During this time, the Chinese government saw the

Third World as its greatest political opportunity, and believed that a revolutionary image

would help increase Chinas political influence in Asia, Africa and Latin America (Ness

1970: 15; Yan 1997: 38). In order to boost its credentials, China spent valuable resources

supporting revolutionary forces where no immediate economic, military or political interest

was at stake. For example, China gave away millions of dollars in financial aid to Albania,

Chinas only ideological ally in Communist Eastern Europe. For Mao and his comrades,

Chinas foreign policy goal was not the expansion of Chinas political and military control

of foreign territory and resources, which was, for Mao, too inferior an aim, but, rather, the

spread of their influence to other hearts and minds around the world (Chen 2001: 15).

Although Chinas strong historical legacy has contributed to its tendency towards

isolationism and ambivalence about opening up to the outside world for hundreds of years,

there have been a few exceptions in Chinas history as foreign policies changed from

dynasty to dynasty. For example, in cosmopolitan periods like the Tang and Yuan

dynasties, Chinas emperors, due to their strong confidence in Chinas economic and

131 Most Red Guards were youngsters in their mid-teens summoned by Chairman Mao to
protect the forward progression of the Chinese Socialist Movement against evil forces
such as imperialism and corruption.

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military strength, implemented open door policies. During those imperial periods,

foreigners were allowed to not only live in the country but also to serve the government,132

and foreign trade and cultural exchanges were greatly encouraged. Those open door

policies helped set up an authoritative and benevolent image for Chinas empire and

increased Chinas attractiveness among foreign countries. The most obvious exception to

Chinas isolationism was a series of maritime voyages made in the early Ming dynasty.

Chinas maritime glory can be traced to the personal enthusiasm of a single emperor, Ming

Emperor Yongle, who dispatched Zhen He and 63 vessels to the Indian Ocean in seven

waves. Those voyages, reaching as far as the eastern African coast and the entrance to the

Red Sea, took Zhen He to more than 30 countries and regions. Unlike the later Western

explorers who conquered the land they discovered, this fleet did not subdue the newly

discovered lands by force. This was not a voyage to plunder the local populace for treasure

nor was it one to establish overseas colonies. As decreed by the Chinese Emperor, Zhen

Hes task was to convey friendship and goodwill and to promote economic and cultural

exchanges between China and other Asian countries, as well as African nations. Chinese

sailors dazzled Asian states with their technological and military prowess, transported

barbarian envoys willing to pay tribute to the Son of Heaven, and brought home exotic

products, from aphrodisiac rhinoceros horns to live giraffes.133

132 It was a very popular phenomenon in the Yuan dynasty that foreigners were employed
by the Yuan government. It should be noted, however, that the Mongols were notoriously
adverse to allowing Han into the upper echelons of the administration, employing instead
Turkic nomads and other foreigners (perhaps even Marco Polo, if he is to be believed).

133 See relevant comment made by Nayan Chanda in Crouching Tiger, Swimming
Dragon, New York Times 11 April 2005.

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Assessment of Chinas Soft Power of Foreign Policies in its Modernization Process

Since Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai initiated contacts with the US and engineered Chinas

entry into the UN in early 1970s, there is the general consensus that China had moved from

rejection of the international status quo to gradual acceptance. In accordance with its

reform agenda, the post-Mao leadership has adopted a less confrontational, more

sophisticated and confident, and, at times, more constructive approach toward regional and

global affairs (Medeiros and Fravel 2003). The main advantage to China is that it has been

free to unashamedly pursue its own national interests without reference to ideological

considerations in the modernization era. With the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh

Central Committee of the CCP, the Chinese government began to focus on domestic

economic construction. China readjusted its foreign policy. Deng Xiaoping argued that the

world was faced with two strategic global tasks: one was a peace issue and the other a

development issue (Deng 1993: 105). With the guidance of this judgment, in the 1980s

China began to adjust its external relations and redesign its foreign strategy in order to

obtain a peaceful international environment.

Chinas post-Mao leadership suggests that the differences of social systems and

ideologies should not be considered in Chinas development of normal diplomatic relations

with other countries. After summing up the lessons of its external relations in the Mao Era,

and especially on the lessons of the international communism movement, the CCP decided

to adjust its guidelines, deal with its foreign relations more prudently, and call for the

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establishment o f a new international order.134 In short, Chinas concept o f new

international order includes:

(1) Every state has the right to choose its own social political, economic systems
and development roads, any state (especially great powers) should not interfere with
other countries internal affairs, and should not impose its values, ideologies and
development models onto other countries; (2) Mutual respect of sovereignty and
territorial integrity; (3) International disputes should be settled by peaceful
negotiations on a just basis; (4) States have equal rights to engage in the
coordination o f world issues; power politics and hegemonism are to be blamed and
should be done away with; (5) Reform the existing old international economic
order, and a new international economic order based on justice, equality and mutual
benefits should replace the old one; (6) the UN should play a full and key role in
establishing the new international order (Li and Lin 1999: 270-274).

Although these new initiatives were first put forward by Deng, it was fully accepted and

further developed by his successors. As former Chinese President Jiang declared, the

diversity of the world should be respected. It means every nation has the right to choose its

own social systems, development strategies, and life styles which conform to its national

conditions (Jiang 1997). With the new guidelines for foreign policy in place in the 1980s

and 1990s, China made great achievements in foreign policy, despite a few missteps along

the way. Not only did it create a relatively favorable international environment for its

domestic economic construction and further push its reform and opening policy into a new

era, but it also gradually changed its national image from unfavorable to favorable

worldwide, and started to project its soft power in the international arena. Entering the 21st

century, Chinas international situation has improved further. Chinas approach to bilateral

relations, multilateral organizations, and security issues reflects a new flexibility and

sophistication. The changes represent an attempt by Chinese leaders to rebuild its post-

134 In March 1991, the Fourth Plenary Session of the 7th National Peoples Congress first
formally confirmed the establishment of a new international order as a very important part
of Chinas foreign policy in the future.

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Tiananmen national image, protect and promote Chinese economic interests, and enhance

their security.

As China has made rapid progress in its modernization process, the ascendancy of

Chinas hard power resources (economic power and military power) has become more and

more obvious. Acutely aware o f the anxiety and uncertainty among other countries toward

its rising power and intentions, current Chinese leadership has developed new concepts to

interpret the new international order and deal with foreign relations. These new concepts

include: (1) Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (esp. putting aside differences and

seeking common goals); (2) mutual beneficial economic contacts; (3) greater dialogue

promoting trust and the peaceful settlement of disputes (Sutter 2002b); and (4) a peaceful

rise - to develop by taking advantage of the peaceful international environment and at the

same time, to maintain world peace through its development. Under the guidance of its

new security concepts there came a shift in Chinas foreign policy agenda. As the current

Chinese President Hu Jintao pronounced:

The very purpose of Chinas foreign policy is to maintain world peace and promote
common development. China always practices what it preaches. Persisting in
building good-neighborly relationships and partnerships with the neighboring
countries, we pursue a policy of bringing harmony, security and prosperity to
neighbors and dedicate ourselves to strengthening mutual trust and cooperation with
the fellow Asian countries, easing up hot spot tensions, and striving to maintain
peace and tranquility in Asia.135

China adjusted its foreign policies not only in ideological terms, but in some

detailed policies it has put some new initiatives into practice. In the Mao Era, the Chinese

government exclusively relied on itself and kept external influences to a minimum.

External influences were seen in the final analysis as polluting, but to be tolerated only in

135 President Hu Jintao made such an announcement in his speech at the opening ceremony
of the Boao Forum for Asia 2004 annual conference.

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so far as they could be shown to serve this internally generated process of self-renewal

(Yahuda 2003). After the Cultural Revolution, China gradually adjusted its position

towards external influences and has seen positive impacts on its own economic

development. As globalization becomes an unavoidable global trend, China is making

great efforts to integrate itself into global community. As Chinas leaders characterized the

post-Cold War agenda as economic globalization and political multipolarity, the

potentially explosive dimensions of globalization have'required China to change many of

its existing practices in both domestic governance and foreign policy that were hitherto

regarded as the hallmark of socialism. The most telling example is that China had to

change much of its domestic, legal and economic systems to meet the conditions of entry

into the WTO, and China had to relax some restrictions over human rights to win the right

to host the Olympic Games 2008. However, Chinas governmental officials and scholars

often use the term double-edged sword to describe globalization. Although China

initially accepted greater interdependence largely out of economic necessity early in the

reform era, Chinas political elites clearly recognize that if mishandled, this transformative

force could very well derail Chinas quest for great-power status (Deng and Moore 2004:

117-136). The elites often talk about the negative effects of globalization in order to keep

136 See the relative statement made by Wang Guangya, Vice Foreign Minister of China, at
the Ministerial meeting o f States parties to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of
Refugees (held on December 12, 2001). Today, as mankind has marched into the new
century, the international situation is undergoing complicated and profound changes.
Econom ic globalization is picking up pace, the trend towards political multipolarity is
gaining momentum, science and technology keep advancing by leaps and bounds, and the
productive forces are on the rise as never before. Mankind boasts of material and spiritual
wealth more abundant than any time in history. The desire of the worlds people for a
peaceful and happy life is stronger than ever. The development and progress of human
society is faced with unprecedented opportunities. Meanwhile, we must be soberly aware
that neither of the two themes of our timespeace and developmenthas been resolved so
far.

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the people and officials clear-headed in the face globalizations challenges. Despite their

more accommodating approach to foreign trade and capital, in crucial respects Chinese

leaders standings in the reform era have mirrored those of their predecessors - self

strengthening movement. Therefore, Chinas modernization can be concluded as a

process which sought to import the techniques and experiences of Western modernization

while keeping Chinas own cultural and political values.

In the most sensitive aspect of Chinas foreign policy - territorial disputes - China

has lowered its nationalist tone and demonstrated more flexibility in solving territorial

disputes with its neighbors, including Russia, Vietnam and India, which had each fought

with China over territory in the Mao Era. In October 2004, China and Russia signed the

Supplementary Agreement on the Eastern Section of China-Russia Boundary Line and

settled the last of their decades-old border disputes. It not only created more favorable

conditions for the long-term, healthy and stable development of a China-Russia strategic

partnership, 137 but also set a successful example for settling border disputes through

peaceful negotiation. 138 During the historical visit to India by Chinese Premier Wen

Jiabao, China and India signed a landmark accord aimed at resolving a boundary dispute

that had bedeviled bilateral relations between the two Asian giants for more than five

decades. In Southeast Asia, China has agreed on a declaration of a code of conduct for the

South China Sea and joined ASEANs Treaty of Amity and Cooperation. Additionally, a

137 Quoted from the joint statement issued by Chinese President Hu and Russian President
Putin after the ceremony in which China and Russia signed the Supplementary Agreement
on the Eastern Section of China-Russia Boundary Line on October 14, 2004 in Beijing

138 Quoted from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhang Qiyue. Zhang also
described the agreement as a balanced and reasonable and a "politically win-win
solution, Zhang said it was reached on the basis of equal and friendly consultation and is of
great significance.

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tripartite agreement was signed among the national oil companies of the Philippines,

Vietnam and China for a joint survey in agreed-upon areas in the South China Sea, with

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo calling it a watershed for regional

diplomacy.139

In many other fields, China is becoming more sophisticated in the substance and

style of its diplomacy. An obvious example is that of Chinas responses toward the US

invasion of Iraq. China has chosen to echo the French, German, and Russian initiatives

rather than take the lead in opposing the invasion. In November 2003, Beijing even raised

the prospect of developing normal and cooperative relations with NATO (Yu 2003).

Indeed, more and more evidence suggests that China is becoming a responsible great

power. China has been making increasing efforts to conform more to international norms

on some sensitive issues such as free trade, nuclear non-proliferation, and even

environmental protection. Unlike Russia, China does not seek continued handouts, and

increasingly pays its own way in world affairs. When the Asian Financial Crisis broke out

in 1997, China adhered to its commitment not to devalue its currency and offered

assistance to the affected countries. In the global tsunami relief efforts, China launched an

unprecedented international disaster relief campaign. Within one month, China donated

more than US$182 million (including $60 million from the Chinese people) to the tsunami-

hit countries, the largest amount from a developing country.140 In the wake of USs

Hurricane Katrina, China is one of the earliest countries that pledged money or other

139 See the relative report o f Philippines, Vietnam, China sing accord on South China
Sea, Asia Pulse, 15 March 2005.

140 China plays a responsible role, Peoples Daily 25 January 2005. Also see other
similar reports on February 7, 2005.

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assistance, donating $5 million.141 After the Kashmir Earthquake, the Chinese government

offered emergency aid worth $6.2 million and dispatched its rescue team immediately.142

Equally important, China is becoming more active in international agenda setting.

Beijing is not forcing governments to adopt its vision o f regional relations. It is proving

remarkably adept at developing a vision, and then presenting compelling reasons for other

countries to sign on (Glosseman 2004). Between 1988 and 1994, China normalized or

established diplomatic relations with about 20 countries, as well as with the Soviet

successor states. Then, in the 1990s, it started to build on these new relationships,

establishing various levels of partnership to facilitate economic and security coordination,

and to offset the Western system of regional alliance. It seeks to establish partnerships or

strategic partnerships with most of the powers along Chinas periphery (Russia, ASEAN,

South Korea, etc.) as well as with other world powers (e.g., France, Germany, the US, etc).

Along with Russia, it was instrumental in establishing the Shanghai Cooperation

Organization, which organizes China, Russia and Central Asian countries to crack down

extremism, separatism, and terrorism. More recently, it has been pushing for an

ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement and a China-ASEAN security pact. Also in South

Asia, China has made efforts to improve its relations with its traditional rival- India. The

bilateral tensions on their disputed border have decreased dramatically, thanks to the

confidence-building and troop-reduction agreements signed in the 1990s. After China and

India finished several rounds o f security dialogue, the two countries commenced their

first-ever strategic dialogue in January 2005.

141 See relevant reports in China Daily 4 September 2005.

142 See relevant reports in Peoples Daily 10 October 2005.

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Meanwhile, Chinas membership in international institutions and organizations has

increased dramatically. From the early 1970s to the middle 1990s, China moved from

virtual isolation to a willingness to participate in international institutions. For example, by

the early 1970s China had signed 10-20 percent of the international arms control

agreements that it was eligible to join. By the mid-1990s it had signed 80 percent o f such

treaties (Johnston 2003: 12). Since the mid-1990s, China has not only increased its

participation in various Asian multilateral arrangements, but also has become an active

player in dealing with many important global issues. Recently, China has even indicated

its willingness to host the L20 Leaders Summit proposed by the Canadian Prime

Minister.143 In addition, it has increased its engagement with the UN Security Council and

taken a more active attitude toward participating in UN peacekeeping missions. Until the

mid-1990s, China had regularly abstained from council resolutions that would authorize the

use of force in order to signal its opposition to the erosion of sovereignty such resolutions

implied. In recent years, however, Beijing has begun to back some of these measures. An

obvious example is that in November 2002, China voted for UN Resolution 1441 on

weapons inspections in Iraq. Beijing has also increased its participation in peacekeeping

operations, supporting contingents in East Timor, Congo, the Middle East, and elsewhere.

By the end o f 2003, China had sent more than 2,000 servicemen to participate in 11 UN

peacekeeping operations.144 In short, as Chinas modernization process progresses,

Beijings view of its international position is evolving. Beijing appears to be moving

143 In recent years, Canada has proposed hosting a meeting of about 20 key world leaders
(L20) to collaborate in addressing key global issues.

144 See relevant report o f China Actively Participates in UN Peacekeeping Operations in


China Daily 10 December 2004.

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beyond viewing itself in the role of suitor to embodying the role of an emerging major

player with the strength to negotiate more aggressively (Goldstein 1997).

Table 7.1 Chinas Compliance with International Norms

Item Compliance History Evaluation

Sovereignty One o f the strongest defenders Excellent

Free trade Officially embrace global free trade by joining Good


WTO in 2001; has made substantial headway in
almost every area except the enforcement of
intellectual property rights
Non Acceded to the NPT in 1992 and supports efforts to Fair
proliferation make the NPT permanent. Currently, Chinese
and arms compliance appears to be fairly comprehensive, but
control a colorful history of noncompliance and negligent
oversight exists as well.
National self- Routinely being accused of violating this norm in Fair
determination the case o f Tibet, Xinjiang, and Taiwan; but the
accusation misconstrues the norm (absolute right of
any ethnic groups to sovereign independence is not
recognized in international law).
Human rights Expanded social/political/religious freedom, but Poor to fair
routine violation of the political and legal rights;
focus on social/economic rights (as opposed to
political and civil liberties).
Source: Johnston, Is China a Status Quo Power?

Increased participation in international organizations may not necessarily be a

reliable indicator of a states cooperative and responsible behavior. While a state may

assume an active role in international affairs, it may still violate the prescriptions of these

institutions. Therefore, what matters more is the countrys compliance with the rules,

norms, and goals o f these IOs. According to Johnston, Chinas compliance with major

international normative regimes can be evaluated from the following five perspectives:

sovereignty, free trade, nonproliferation and arms control, national self-determination, and

human rights. Table 7.1 suggests that Chinas compliance with international normative

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regimes varies from poor to fair (human rights) to good or excellent (free trade and

sovereignty). It is ranked fair in areas of nonproliferation and national self-determination.

How does Chinas New Diplomacy fare in international relations? There are no

doubts that Chinas new security concepts, by virtue of their non-controversial and

conciliatory features, find easy acceptance among many international leaders. Chinas

active and constructive engagement with Southeast Asia has been well received throughout

the region and has opened the way to expanding Chinas influence in Asia. As for U S-

China relations, President Bush publicly acknowledged Beijings leadership in North Korea

nuclear issues and the USs reliance on China in solving this issue. Presumably mindful of

strong US interest in working with China on issues such as global terrorism, and Chinas

cooperative attitude, the US State Department officially classified the Eastern Turkestan

Islamic Movement, one o f the separatist groups in Xinjiang province, as a terrorist

organization in August 2002. To the great relief of the Chinese government, in the

American 2004 presidential election, China, for the first time since 1979, did not become

the focus o f the foreign policy debate. More importantly, the Bush administration, in his

second term, has gone on the record several times to say that the US will maintain its One

China policy and will not support Taiwans independence.

Also, as a latecomer to the current international political and economic systems,

China has been fully aware that it has been mainly a follower rather than a doer or rule-

setter for the most part in global governance. Chinas inability to significantly change

those rules of the game to suit its national conditions has reinforced its perception that

global governance is structured essentially to pursue the agenda and interests of the West.

This perception still has some impact on Chinas current foreign policy. As concluded by a

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China observer, Chinas self-told history of 100 years of shame and humiliation at the

hands of foreigners, the anti-imperialist thrust of Leninism, the Partys own legacy of

Figure 7.1 Chinas International Organization Memberships in Comparison

1998 1999 2000 2001 2002


Year

China mIndia Japan x United States *Avergae

SOURCE: The 2004 A.T. Kearney/Foreign Policy Magazine Globalization Index.

distrust and betrayal, and leaders tendency to interpret decision-making in terms of a

zero-sum game mitigate against constructive engagement and interaction with existing

international governance structures (Saich 2001: 274). Chinas ambivalence about the

current international governance structure and lack of understanding of international norms

has generated contradictions in Chinas international behavior and has sometimes hurt its

attractiveness. China wants to be taken seriously and has sought to play a role in global

governance through what its leaders have frequently termed Great Power Diplomacy in

the 1980s and 1990s. Chinas goal is to establish a multi-polar world in which it will be

regarded as a power with equal status to the US. However, Chinas dedication to

sovereignty has led to a basic suspicion of multilateral frameworks. China has been very

sensitive to such topics as human rights, religious freedom, etc. Generally, China is more

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willing to join regimes that govern international economy and foreign trade, but is less

enthusiastic about those international organizations that may, to an extent, interfere its what

Chinese leaders call domestic politics, or impose restrictions on Chinas will to realize its

national interests.

Moreover, the Taiwan issue remains an obstacle to Chinas projection of soft power

in foreign policy. In the field of foreign policy, Chinas attractiveness has always been

burdened with its rapid rise of hard power and the problems of longstanding conflicts over

Taiwan. China has never hesitated to punish those countries that show sympathy towards

Taiwan (or the other separatist movements in Tibet or Xiangjinag). One extreme example

was Chinas unpopular veto (February 1999) in the UN Security Council against the

deployment of UN peacekeeping force in Macedonia, which switched its diplomatic

recognition to Taiwan in January 1999.145 Chinas unprecedented veto served to remind

the international community of Chinas history of ideology-dominated foreign policy in the

Mao Era. Also, in March 2005 China passed its Anti-cessation Law, which allows China

to use force to block any Taiwanese move toward independence. This may indicate that

China will take an aggressive stance to realize its unification and could pose a threat to

regional security and stability. As a result, the Anti-cessation Law became one of the

reasons why the European Union postponed its lifting of an arms embargo against China in

June 2005.

Besides the Taiwan issue, as Chinas economic development dramatically increases

its appetite for overseas oil, the energy issue has gradually emerged and daunted Chinas

foreign policy. Just a decade ago, China exported more oil than it imported. But in 2004,

145 See relevant reports from the New York Times 26 February 1999.

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China passed Japan to become the worlds second-largest importer, behind the US. Its

booming but grossly inefficient economy consumes three times as much energy per dollar

of output as the world average. While China is seeking to loosen the USs grip on world

energy resources and secure the fuel it needs to keep its economy in overdrive, some China

observers have criticized that this energy quest has dominated Chinas foreign policy

decisions for the past two years.146 At times it has even put China in direct competition

with American policy goals. For example, China opposed moves to punish its oil partner

Sudan for atrocities in Darfur and blocked efforts to bring the issue of Irans nuclear

weapons program before the UN Security Council. These energy-dominated foreign

policies will not only increase the risk of conflict between China and other economic

powers, especially Japan and the US, but will also hurt Chinas efforts to establish a moral

image and project its soft power.

Chinas continuous efforts to manipulate public opinion and instill nationalism as a

political tool of legitimizing its own core values may mitigate against Chinas constructive

involvement in international affairs. The rising nationalism in China can warp decision

making and instigate conflicts with countries like the US and Japan. The resurgence of

Chinese nationalism has alarmed Western observers with Chinas spectacular economic

and military growth. For example, the Chinese governments support of anti-US

demonstrations following the accidental bombing by an American aircraft of the Chinese

embassy in Belgrade in 1999 was comprehensively regarded as a strong signal of the

initiatives of Chinese coercive foreign policy. In the wake of Chinas nation-wide spate of

street mob attacks on Japanese diplomatic and business facilities in April 2005, the Chinese

146 See relevant report o f Appetite for Energy Fuels Chinas Fears by Joseph Kahn, New
York Times 28 June 2005.

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government found it difficult to continue its assiduous spread of a new gospel of Chinas

peaceful rise.147 The world media focused more attention on Chinese governments

perceived role in fueling the wave of protests and of the police forces failure to curb the

violence directed against the Japanese embassy than to the recent misbehavior of the

Japanese government over the historical issues such as Yasukuni Shrine and historical

textbook.

Finally, the sovereignty-diminishing dynamics of globalization have altered the

balance o f power in the international system, giving more direct power to non-state actors

(NGOs, IGOs, MNCs, and individuals) than any other period in history. As a result, many

non-state actors possess their own soft power as they attract citizens into coalitions that cut

across national borders. As Nye points out, many nongovernmental organizations claim

to act as a global conscience representing broad public interests beyond the purview of

individual states and in any event, the information revolution has greatly enhanced

NGOs soft power (Nye 2004a: 90). While some of these non-state actors, such as the

UN, international media networks and the MNCs, do business with China, they may

develop a synergistic relationship with the government and thus enhance Chinas soft

power. However, many other non-state actors such as the Falun Gong movement, Tibetan

emigre community, and political dissidents can organize transnational activities at very low

cost to gamer more international sympathy and support while sabotaging government

efforts to present a positive image to international society. Beijing may find it difficult to

compete with the latter for soft power from some perspectives, in part because attraction

depends upon credibility, something a Beijing propaganda campaign often lacks.

147 See Howard W. French, Letter from China: A grinding of gears in Beijing diplomacy,
International Herald Tribune 5 May 2005.

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To summarize, in this chapter, I briefly reviewed some basic ideologies that

governed Chinas foreign relations in its ancient and modem histories, and the pre-reform

era. I also analyzed the substance and style of Chinas foreign policy since 1978 to assess

its soft power in foreign policy in its modernization process. I found that cultural

attractiveness and examples set by domestic policies matter in affecting foreign policy

outcomes, but converting these resources into realized power also requires well-designed

foreign strategies and skillful leadership. Compared to a countrys cultural attractiveness

and political values, the values expressed through the substance and style of foreign policy

are a more direct vehicle of developing soft power. I also found that, in the last two and a

half decades, China has worked hard on official rhetoric and diplomatic practice to promote

a view of itself as a new kind of superpower, one that lacks aggressive intent. However, it

should be noted that Beijing does not always have a coherent foreign policy agenda in

promoting its new security concept. As Peter Gries has observed, nationalist sentiment,

once nurtured by the Communist Party, has been taken up independently by a new

generation of Chinese and is now undermining the Partys monopoly on political discourse

and threatening the regimes stability (Gries 2004). As shown in the handling of the 1999

NATO bombing o f the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and the 2005 anti-Japanese

demonstrations over Japans distortions of wartime history, Chinese leaders have tried to

utilize this popular nationalism for domestic and foreign policy gains. A nationalist stance

nonetheless contradicts the basic policy of being conciliatory in international affairs.

Moreover, Chinas reputation in this arena is burdened with the longstanding conflict over

Taiwan. In March, the National Peoples Congress (Chinas legislature) approved the

Anti-Secession Law authorizing military action against Taiwan should the island seek

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independence or otherwise fail to become part of one China.148 This louder-than-average

rattle of the Chinese saber, showcasing the spectacular growth in Chinas economic and

military capabilities, sent an alarming signal to its neighbors and other parts of the world

that China may try to take an aggressive stance to achieve its foreign policy objectives,

which could prove very harmful Chinas ability to expand its soft power resources in its

foreign policy.

148 Full-text of the Anti-Secession Law is available online at


<http://news.bbc.co.Uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4347555.stm>. (Accessed on July 27, 2005)

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Part III An Assessment of Chinas Soft Power Using a


Behaviorist Model

In the second part, I assessed Chinas soft power using a structuralist model which includes

three specific components o f soft power resources - cultural attractiveness, political values

and policies, and the substance and style of foreign policy. In this part, I will employ a

behaviorist model to assess Chinas soft power from two specific perspectives: how China

mobilized its soft power resources to build its projected national image, and how China

wields its soft power in its modernization process. Through analyzing Chinas

performances in building national image and wielding soft power, I want to assess Chinas

capabilities o f converting its soft power resources to achieve its desired foreign policy

goals. The Chapter VIII will focus on assessing Chinas soft power in its national image

building; and the Chapter IX will focus on assessing how China wield its soft power to

achieve its desired policy goals.

Chapter VIII Assessing Chinas Soft Power in its National Image Building

In international politics, the stage for what policy makers and implementers think is

happening has been traditionally set in large part by national self-images and images of

other nations or cultures, that is, by what they have come to expect o f themselves and of

others. Credit for the start of an extended literature on images and perception is usually

given to Walter Lippmanns book Public Opinion (1922). In the current global information

age, economic globalization, democratization, and the spread of information and

communication technologies (ICT) have greatly deepened global interdependence,

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universalized certain values like democracy and human rights, and expanded the flow of

information. With the coming of the global information age, international publics are

becoming an ever more important factor in international politics, notwithstanding the

controversy over the existence of world public opinion (Kunczik 1997: 19). All

governments have become increasingly attentive to their national image, which has

developed into one o f most important components of national power. Brand consultants

and policy strategists are making significant profits advising governments on how to

improve and market their images. While Western countries have always emphasized the

importance o f national image, some historically withdrawn and authoritarian countries have

stepped up their national image-building efforts. For example, the Chinese government has

hired top brand consultants and policy strategists to polish its national image in the West

and advance its policy agenda worldwide (Guevara and Williams 2005). How does image

or national image become a factor in international politics?

In his influential book Public Opinion, Walter Lipmann provided an extended

literature on images and perception as follows:

.. .this trickle o f messages from the outside is affected by the stored up images, the
preconceptions, and prejudices which interpret, fill them out, and in their turn
powerfully direct the play of our attention, and our vision itself. From this it
proceeds to examine how in the individual person the limited messages from
outside, formed into a pattern o f stereotypes, are identified with his own interests as
he feels and conceives them (Lippmann 1922: 18-9).

In international relations, policymakers realities have been in large part shaped by their

own national images and their perceptions of others national images. Simply put, their

pre-conceived notions about themselves and others have dictated much of their behavior.

Glen Fisher gave a detailed explanation of the role of image in international relations:

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Images - those pictures in our heads - have come to be recognized for their
significance in international relations, and government policymakers normally take
them into account. The manipulation of images is, for example, the concern of
propaganda.. .Scholars and policymakers understand, if often imprecisely, that the
actual consequences of a given policy initiative or overseas program will be
determined not only by that policys logic as understood in diplomatic circles or by
the skill used in presenting and executing it, but also by the images held by the
target populace of the country (or organization) identified with the policy or
program (Fisher 1988: 106).

The September 2001 publication of Peter van Hams article of The Rise of the Brand

State in Foreign Affairs has attracted attention both from the academic community and the

world of practitioners, and brought about further research on the role of image and

reputation in international politics. Ham points out that like branded products, branded

states depend on trust and customer satisfaction, and image and reputation have become

essential parts of a states strategic capital.

Globalization and the media revolution have made each state more aware of itself,
its image, its reputation, and its attitude - in short, its brand.. .Their tasks will
include finding a brand niche for their state, engaging in competitive marketing,
assuring customer satisfaction, and most of all creating brand loyalty. Brand states
will compete not only among themselves but also with superbrands such as the EU,
CNN, Microsoft, and the Roman Catholic Church.. .In this crowded arena, states
that lack relevant brand equity will not survive. (Ham 2001: 2-6)

In IR theory, national image-building has long been an integral part of foreign policy and

has received much, albeit not systematic, attention by IR theorists. According to classic

realism, the pursuit of honor and prestige is an intrinsic element of relations between

nations as it is in relations between individuals (Morgenthau 1985: 69). One of three types

of foreign policy defined by Hans J. Morgenthau is the policy of prestige.149 The policy of

prestige serves to impress other nations with the power ones own nation actually

149 In his classic book Politics among Nations, Morgenthau classifies foreign policy into
three types - the policy of the status quo, of imperialism, and of prestige.

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possesses, or with the power it believes, or want the other nations to believe, it possesses

(Morgenthau 1985: 70).

Game theory, meanwhile, highlights the instrumental nature of national image-

building with a focus on reputation. As Jonathan Mercer states, a reputation is a belief

that someone has an enduring characteristic. More precisely, a reputation is a dispositional

attribute that is then used to predict or explain future behavior (Mercer 1996: 16).

Governments care about their reputation because they feel the other governments depend

on them to predict their future behaviors. Generally, realists tend to focus on the use of

reputation in international confrontation. For instance, they emphasize the importance of

reputation in the resolution and determent of hostile actions from enemies (Dixit and

Nalebuff 1991).

In contrast, neoliberal institutionalists stress the utility of reputation in international

cooperation. In the words of Robert Keohane, to a government that values its ability to

make future agreements, reputation is a crucial resource; and the most important aspect of

an actors reputation in world politics is the belief of others that it will keep its future

commitments even when a particular situation, myopically viewed, makes it appear

disadvantageous to do so (Keohane 1984: 116). Nye assumes that national image-

building depends on a combined and interdependent build-up of a countrys hard power

and soft power. Some countries are well respected by others in spite of their small size and

power, and conversely some countries find their national interests compromised by poor

national image, regardless of their actual influence (Nye 2002a: 545-559).

Nye stresses that national image is an important channel to exercise a countrys soft

power. According to his theory, if countries make their power legitimate in the eyes of

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others, they encounter less resistance to their wishes. If a countrys culture and ideology are

attractive, others are more willing to follow. He states that if a country can shape

international rules that are consistent with its interests and values, its actions will more

likely appear legitimate in the eyes of others. If a country uses institutions and follows

rules that encourage other nations to channel or limit their activities in ways it prefers, it

will not need many costly carrots and sticks (Nye 2004a: 11-15). On the topic of

building a positive national image, Nye emphasizes that national image-building is much

broader than propaganda. The strength of a countrys image depends on a combination of

culture, domestic policies and values, and the substance, tactics, and style of its foreign

policy (Nye 2004a: 68). Moreover, Nye concludes that .. .credibility is the crucial

resource and an important source of soft power. Reputation becomes even more important

than in the past, and political struggles occur over the creation and destruction of

credibility (Nye 2002c). Therefore, the countries that likely gain soft power in the

information age must have the following factors contributing to their national image:

Those whose dominant culture and ideas are closer to prevailing global norms
(which do not emphasize liberalism, pluralism, and autonomy); those with the most
access to multiple channels of communication and thus more influence over how
issues are framed; and those whose credibility is enhanced by their domestic and
international performance. These dimensions of power in an informational age
suggest the growing importance of soft power in the mix of power resources, and it
a strong advantage to the United States (Nye 2002c).

As for the question o f how a countrys soft power can affect the outcomes of policies

through its national image, Nye does not provide a substantive theoretical discussion or a

systematic empirical study on the USs national image building. Regarding how to

measure national image, Nye points out that polls are a good first approximation of both

how attractive a country appears and the costs that are incurred by unpopular policies,

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particularly when they show consistency across polls and over time (Nye 2004a: 49). In

the following, after a historical analysis of Chinas national image in ancient times and

modem history, I will employ some consistent poll data to assess the effects of Chinas soft

power in improving its national image in its modernization process.

Historical Review of Chinas National Image from Tang to Mao

In ancient China, national image was indicative of a regimes moral value and capacity to

organize and mobilize the Chinese population. National image also provided a measure of

how receptive the Chinese population was to its regimes influence. The spread of

Confucianism, the process of sinicization, and the tribute system had always been specific

ways for China to exert its soft power and project its favorable national image in ancient

times. From the imperial dynasties of 2000 years ago to the middle of the 15th century,

Chinas rulers masterfully maintained their chosen images of China. Arguably, the so-

called national image o f ancient China was understood on the basis that the world was an

undivided continuum rather than as a space filled with separate geographical and political

entities. Imperial China regulated its relations with other states through a tribute system,

under which foreign rulers were treated like vassals of the emperor (Nathan and Ross 1997:

23). The ancient Chinese worldview placed China at the center of the world and the

Chinese emperor at the apex of all human beings. The ancient Chinese worldview

espoused the idea that those who lived outside Chinas boundaries existed in varying stages

of barbarism. The ancient Chinese rulers believed that those barbaric people could come

into the circle o f civilization if they adapted to the Chinese way. Pre-modem China was so

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self-sufficient in all matters that Chinas Qinglong Emperor in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)

informed the British King George III in 1793 that China did not need what the British

perceived to be the benefits of trade. Scholarly analysis of historical documents dating

back thousands o f years shows that the imperial government cultivated the image of the

Middle Kingdom with remarkable consistency (Fairbank 1968; Cohen 2000).

In addition to the image of China as a kingdom at the center o f the universe, ancient

Chinese rulers also tirelessly projected the image of China as a benign hegemon whose

power was based on moral virtue rather than brute force. It is written in the Analects,

Confucius sayings collected by his disciples, that a man of benevolence wishing to

establish his own character also establishes the character o f others, and wishing to be

prominent also helps others to be prominent. In the end there will be self-perfection, family

harmony, social order, and world peace. When the individual and society are in proper

order, the way is said to prevail. Similar themes run through other traditional Chinese

idioms such as emphasize civility, de-emphasize materiality; stress virtue and downplay

physical strength; if one has virtue, one cannot be matched; and display virtue and do

not flaunt the military instrument (Johnston 1995: 63-64). The benevolent national image

of ancient China that promoted tolerance and peace attracted many foreigners to China.

Ancient Japan frequently sent envoys to the Chinese court to learn Chinese culture, rituals

and ideologies. The ancient Chinese treated Japanese envoys graciously, including once

fashioning an impressive stone tablet to record the life of one such Japanese envoy.150

Some of Japans envoys stayed in China for the remainder of their lives, and even gained

150 In 2004, Chinas Northwest University announced the discovery of a stone epitaph to a
Japanese student who died in Xian early in the eighth century. It noted that he was
appointed a bureaucrat for his diligence by Emperor Xuanzong who mourned his death.

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the confidences o f the Chinese emperor. China attracted many Westerners as well,

including Marco Polo (1254-1324), who, if his writings are credible, was the most famous

Westerner who traveled to ancient China.151 He exceeded all other travelers in his

determination, his writing and his influence. His accounts of Cathay (Western

civilizations name for ancient Chinas) depicted the Yuan Dynastys wealth, enormous

military power and complex social structure and helped establish an attractive national
1O
image of China as a wealthy and mysterious empire. This image influenced the Western

perception o f China for centuries.

Ancient Chinas global prestige reached its peak through Cheng Hes successful

maritime expeditions under the rule of the Ming Emperor Yongle from 1405 to 1433.

However, after Yongles reign ended, Chinas maritime missions suddenly ceased and

foreign policy soon became primarily exclusive and defensive. Chinas isolationist foreign

policy from the end of 16th century to the late 20th century gradually eroded Chinas

international image. Before the beginning of the 19th century, the only interpretations of

China available to the West were related by a scant number of Christian missionaries, who

often had prejudices against Chinese religions and traditions. Ancient Chinas open-door

attitude towards Western Christian missionaries was reversed following a series of

incidents where the Portuguese attacked Chinese villagers in Macao. Some missionaries

151 As a gifted linguist and master of four languages, Marco Polo became a favorite with
the Kublai Khan and was appointed to high posts in his administration. He served at the
Khans court and was sent on a number of special missions in China, Burma and India.

152 Three years after Marco returned to Venice, he was captured during the fighting and
spent a year in a Genoese prison - where one of his fellow-prisoners was a writer of
romances named Rustichello of Pisa. It was only when prompted by Rustichello that Marco
Polo dictated the story o f his travels, known in his time as The Description o f the World or
The Travels o f Marco Polo.

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began to condemn Chinese ancestral worship as idolatry, and some were involved in

Chinas factional politics. While regular European engagement with China had begun in

the 19th century, Chinese rulers and people still had hostile and disdainful attitudes towards

foreigners. By the middle of the 19th century, Western China observers - whether in the

form of ambassadors, missionaries or governors - expanded both the scope and quality of

their knowledge of China. For example, by the 1850s most classic works in the Confucian

canon were available to the English- and French-speaking world. Moreover, 19th-century

ambassadors and missionaries provided a wealth of information on the relationship

between government and moral and national character, including, the general form of

Chinese despotism (Jones 2001: 64).


th
During the decades of division and war in the first half of the 20 century, the West

regarded China as an inferior and unsophisticated country, and the Chinese people were

described as Dong Ya Bing Fu (Sick Man of East Asia). At this point, Chinas social elites

were well aware o f their countrys miserable international image. As Sun Yat-sen wrote,

Affairs in China are going wrong. The old loyalties and virtues are corrupted every
day. Our strong neighbors look down on us and despise us for the reason that is not
one at heart.. .If we do not make an effort to hold our own, if we do not rouse
ourselves in time, our thousands of years of fame and culture, our many generations
of traditions and morals will be destroyed, utterly ruined... (Sun quoted in Murray
1998: 111).

In October 1949, the CCP came into power, plunging China into three decades of

self-incurred political, economic and intellectual isolation. In the 1960s, the assault on

Chinese traditional culture culminated in the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). While

China became increasingly isolated from the outside world, its national image - measured

in terms o f how much China is admired - dropped precipitously. In the Table 8.1, the

percentage o f Americans who viewed China favorably dropped to its lowest standing in

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1967: only about 5% of Americans had a favorable opinion of China, 16% had an

unfavorable opinion, and 75% had a very unfavorable opinion of China.

Table 8.1 American Opinion of China (1967-1989)


Very Favorable Unfavorable Very No Opinion
Favorable (%) (%) Unfavorable (%)
(%) (%)
89 Feb 12 60 10 3 15
87 May 8 57 23 5 7
83 Sept. 6 37 31 21 5
80 Jan 6 36 30 24 4
79 Feb 5 25 31 33 6
76 Jan 3 17 29 45 6
1967 Less than 5 16 75 4
0.5%
Source: Lampton, Same Bed, Different Dreams, 385.

Assessment of Chinas Soft Powers Effects on National Image Building

Regarding the assessment of the effects of Chinas soft power on national image building

in its modernization process, I will follow the methodological discussion regarding the

behaviorist model in the Chapter II. The assessment will include two parts. First, I will

break Chinas modernization process (from 1979 to the present) into individual continuums

(years), in which I depict Chinas projected national image - such as peace-loving and

international cooperator - and track other countries perceptions related to those projected

national images. Second, I will pick up some specific cases in Chinas national image

building, and analyze their doctrines, instruments of power and results. In this part, the

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assessment will be divided into two sections: from 1979 to 1989 and after 1989 (the post-

Tiananmen era).

In the first part, I employ the data collected by Hongying Wang in her article -

National Image Building and Chinese Foreign Policy (Wang 2003: 46-72). The data

about Chinas projected national image is based on a quantitative content analysis of two

official series - Beijing Review and Chinas Government Work Reports (zhengfu gongzuo

baogao).153 Between 1958 and 2002, more than two thousand issues of the Beijing Review

were published. Wang randomly selected one issue from each year for analysis. With the

focus on the national images o f China in international affairs as portrayed by the Chinese

government, Wang coded only articles that have at least one paragraph relating to Chinas

foreign relations.154 Between 1954 and 2000, 19 Government Work Reports were

delivered and published. Wang included all of them for analysis and coded sections in

each report dealing with Chinas foreign relations. The other countries perceptions related

to Chinas projected images will be focused on the public opinion of the US, the most

important country to the rise of China. The assessment o f the evolution of American public

opinion about China relies on the data from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.

153 The Beijing Review was launched on March 5, 1958 by the Chinese government. It was
the first and major weekly newsmagazine directed at foreign readers. It is published in
English, French, Japanese, German, and Spanish. Starting from 1954, the Chinese Premier
has delivered the Government Work Reports to the National Peoples Congress every year.
These reports are aimed at both domestic and foreign audiences.

154 Wang did not introduce how she had coded the information that she selected from the
Beijing Review and the Government Work Reports. Based on my observation, the
frequency of specific words and the other phrases with the similar meanings used in the
Beijing Review and the Government Work Reports, such as peace-loving and
international cooperator, are the most important measure for coding. The more frequent a
specific word and relative phrases appears in her selected materials, the higher priority the
Chinese government will give to the projected national image that are related to those
words and phrases.

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From the Centers online data bank, Wang found more than 500 survey questions about

China from 1954 to 2002. She analyzed the survey questions themselves, treating their

explicit or implicit assertions abut China as data on American perceptions.155 Appendix II

shows the results of the data analysis on both the assessment of Chinas projected national

images and American public opinion related to those national images.156 Based on Wangs

data from 1979 to 2002 and her preliminary analysis, I made some further analyses and

concluded how the Chinese governments efforts in projecting these specific national

images had changed and alongside how the perceptions of these images that the American

public holds changed. I list the results of my further analyses in the Table 8.2. Moreover, I

collect my own data to analyze how the Americans general perception of China has had

changed, alongside how Chinas policy in national image building changed. My own data

are shown in Figure 8.1 and Figure 8.2.

155 For example, she coded the following question as perceiving China as socialist, militant
(opposite to peace-loving) and a major power: Red China has exploded another atomic
bomb. Do you think we should try to negotiate an atomic test-ban treaty with them? She
coded the following question as perceiving China as militant (opposite of peace-loving),
obstructive (opposite o f cooperative) and socialist: do you agree that US should come to
the defense of Japan with military force if it is attacked by Soviet Russia and or Communist
China?

1561 choose only seven of the ten figures which Wang used for demonstrating her analysis
on Chinas projected national images alongside American public opinion related to those
national images. Regarding the projected national images o f a bastion of revolution and
autonomous actor, the Chinese government has made limited efforts to project, but the
American public opinion completely ignores them. Regarding the perception of an
authoritarian state, the American public opinion strongly holds, but the Chinese
government has never made any efforts to project.

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Table 8.2 Chinas Projected Image and American Perceptions

^ \A m e r ic a n Generally Agree with More Disagreement Totally Oppose


^ ^ P e rc e p tio n s Chinas Projected than Agreement Chinas Projected
Chinas Image Image
Projected I m a g e s \ ^
A Socialist Country Since the beginning of
1980s, China has made
less and less effort and
Americans have
become more and more
ignorant.
A Developing China has always made
Country stable efforts, but
Americans do not care
very much.
A Major Power China has enhanced its
efforts and Americans
strongly agree.
An Anti-hegemonic China has always
Force made great efforts,
but Americans
perception has
changed from agree
in 1980s to disagree
in 1990s.
A Victim of Foreign China has made less
Aggression and less efforts, but
Americans have
never agreed.
A Peace-loving China has always
Country made great efforts,
but Americans have
strongly disagreed.
An International China has made
Cooperator Very strong efforts,
but Americans have
mostly disagreed.

As shown in Table 8.2, American perception of China corresponds with some of the

images projected by the Chinese government but contradicts others. Regarding the

projected national images of a developing country, and a major power, China makes

great efforts to project, and Americans generally agree. While there are less ideological

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factors in Chinas foreign policy, Americans have become more ignorant of the fact that

China is a socialist country. China has always regarded itself as an anti-hegemonic

force, but Americans attitude changed because the international situation changed

dramatically at the end o f the 1980s. Although China portrays itself as a peace-loving

country and an international cooperator, American people think exactly the opposite.

Instead, they frequently regard China as militant. As for the projected image of a victim

of foreign aggression, China has gradually given up regarding itself as a victim of the

Western imperialism. Americans sometimes view China as a victim of foreign aggression,

but more often see China as victimizing its own neighbors.

After thirty years of CCP rule during which many foreign countries developed very

negative perceptions o f China, the Chinese government has become quite attentive to its

national image. However, many senior Chinese leaders still believe that Western media

has intentionally smeared Chinas national image, and that false images of China have been

perpetuated in the West. Beijing believes that China has to convince the world that it has

changed dramatically since the CCP came into power in 1949, especially after China
1^7
entered its modernization process in late 1970s. As Chinas reform process proceeded,

new ideas and policies have been gradually introduced into Chinas propaganda efforts.

From the mid-1980s, the government began to adopt more neutral terminology for public

relations (gonggong guanxi) and began to refer to propaganda (xuanchuan) as publicity

(FlorCruz 2000). Both terms were regarded as more acceptable to Western countries.

157 For example, Zhu Muzhi (former Director of State Council Information Office) said,
some (foreign countries) have prejudices or have wrongly believed rumors, therefore what
they think about China is not the true image of China. We will try every means to present a
comprehensive and real picture of China to the outside world so that you can see the true
image of China. See Hongyin Wang 2003.

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Moreover, the propaganda of the reform period has become markedly different in content

from that of the pre-reform period. Even as early as 1980s, a long-term plan of national-

image-building had been gradually implemented in China in order to project new positive

images around the world. As part of a major strategy to improve the overall perception of

Chinese government, China has taken great strides to better the quality of officials and the

efficiency of government organizations in charge of waishi (foreign affairs) (Brady 2003).

Compared to Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping built a larger bureaucratic apparatus for

policy-making and ceded more power to experts, as was probably unavoidable when

Chinas increased involvement in global affairs raised a host of new specialized issues

(Nathan and Ross 1997: 124). From the 1980s on, China has steadily increased the number

of people skilled in waishi work and has placed emphasis on thorough training and greater

professionalism in waishi. Improving the quality of waishi cadres meant not only

increasing the number of trained staff available to work in waishi offices, but also re

training those already involved in waishi activities. The training programs focused on both

political trustworthiness and skills such as language proficiency and university

qualifications. Paeans to Mao Zedong and exhortations in support of world revolution

were reduced in the mid-1980s as foreign propaganda cadres were told they must

deemphasize the political content of their work and instead stress that China is a democracy

and proper legal system (Brady 2000: 943-964). In a speech published in 1983, Chinas

senior propaganda chief Zhu Muzhi bluntly informed waishi cadres that effective

immediately, when talking about the New China (which refers to the Peoples Republic

of China), they must stop their boasting and verbiage about the so-called world

revolution. He called on the cadres to stop stuffing Socialism!, Communism! and

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other revolutionary stuff down foreigners throats. Zhu argued that this was the only way

that other countries would better understand China (Zhu 1983). Officials in the 1980s

stressed the creation o f foreign propaganda with Chinese characteristics (you Zhongguo

tese de duiwai xuanchuari). This was a euphemism for moving away from Soviet-style

propaganda highlighting world revolution and class struggle (Brady 2000). (Brady 2000:

943-964).

In an effort to establish a new national image, China endeavored to improve the

efficiency of its governmental organizations. In 1980, the CCP Central Committee Foreign

Propaganda Group was established to coordinate such activities. Propaganda work

(xuanchuan gongzuo) has always been an important part o f any official activity involving

waishi in China. Since that time, every province and administrative area in China has

formed its own foreign propaganda agency. Such agencies previously only existed in

Chinas central government. More than forty government departments and organizations

hired or took on their own official media spokespersons where previously there were none.

The number of officials involved in foreign propaganda work at the central and local levels

increased considerably. And Chinas governmental agencies in the foreign propaganda

areas like news bureaus, broadcasting, films, television, and publishing, all underwent

major restructuring. Before 1980 China published only a handful of magazines for foreign

readers. Since then over twenty new magazines were created by the government or by the

private sector. So far, the Chinese government publishes the Beijing Review, China Daily,

China Reconstructs and the overseas edition of the Peoples Daily, all of them targeted at

foreign readers. More than ever before, reports from Chinas own news service, the

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Xinhua News Agency and China News Agency, are broadcast worldwide and picked up by

foreign media.158

Figure 8.1 American Perception of China 1967-1989

100
90

80

70

8> 60
JS
g 50
o
40
30

20
10
0
1967 1969 1971 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989

Y ear

V e r y F a v o ra b le F a v o ra b le U n fa v o ra b le V e ry U n fa v o ra b le No O pinion

Source: Surveys by Gallup Organization, February 23-26, 1979; January 25-28, 1980;
September 16-19,1983; April 25-May 10,1987; and February 28-March 2,1989.
Retrieved April 27, 2005 from the iPOLL Databank, The Roper Center for Public Opinion
Research, University o f Connecticut.

From 1979 to 1989, Chinas new strategic initiatives and enhanced national image

building policies produced consistently favorable outcomes. The perception of China

among foreign countries (especially Western countries) greatly improved in the 1980s.

As seen in Figure 1, the percentage of American people who had mostly unfavorable to

very unfavorable perceptions of China decreased from around 65 percent in 1979 to

roughly 10 percent in early 1989. In contrast, the percentage of Americans who had

mostly favorable to very favorable perceptions of China more than doubled from

approximately 30 percent to around 70 percent during the same period.

158 See Zhu Muzhi, Zai quanguo duiwai xuanchuan gongzuo huiyishangde jianghua
(Talk at the National Conference on Foreign Propaganda), November 26, 1986, ZMZ, 1995,
p. 124.

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However, this trend was quickly disrupted on June 4,1989, following the Chinese

governments crackdown on student movements. During the Tiananmen crackdown,

Peoples Liberation Army soldiers fired on Chinese students in the streets of Beijing and

hundreds were arrested. The governments inhumane response to the protest resulted in

major damage to Chinas international profile and its human rights record. The images of

bloodshed carried live on Western television networks worldwide and seriously impaired

the positive national image that China had established in the 1980s. The crackdown

prompted stringent political censure of the CCP by the international community and the

imposition of economic sanctions against China. All Western countries immediately

condemned the Chinese government. Japan and other East Asian countries also became

critical of the Chinese government. Massive protests were staged in Hong Kong. Under

huge pressure from Congress and the American public, the Bush administration (1989-92)

suspended all arms sales to China, canceled scheduled high-level visits, and blocked loans

to the Chinese government from all major global financial organizations. The damage to

Chinas national image accompanied by a sharp decline in new foreign investments and

tourism. Additionally, Chinas dream o f modernization was placed in jeopardy. China

experienced a loss o f intellectual capital when many Chinese students who had left China

to study abroad before 1989 refused to return home in the early 1990s (Cohen 2000: 452).

Figure 8.2 demonstrates that American perceptions of China changed dramatically shortly

after the Tiananmen crackdown. Those who rated China as very favorable and mostly

favorable decreased sharply from 73 percent in February 1989 to 34 percent in the wake of

the Tiananmen crackdown in June 1989. The American perception of China has never

recovered from this incident, and Chinas national image in the West remains precarious.

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Figure 8.2 American Perceptions of China (1989-2004)

V ery F a v o rab le & M ostly Favorable a V ery U nfavorable & M ostly U nfavorable

Source: Surveys by Gallup Organization, from February 1989 to February 2004. Retrieved
April 27, 2005 from the iPOLL Databank, The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research,
University o f Connecticut.

Since 1989, the human rights issue has formally become one of the most complicated

issues in Chinas foreign policy. Facing growing international pressure, China has

designed a mix o f measures to rally support from developing countries, especially in

multilateral settings, to appeal to advocates of realpolitik in the West, and to construct

policy dilemmas for human rights advocates (Nathan and Ross 1997: 188). For example,

the Chinese government has always accused its critics of using double standards to look at

Chinas human rights record. China sometimes argues that cultural standards are so

different that no cultures concept of human rights has greater claim to be accepted than

any others. And China has always used the issue of sovereignty to rhetorically reject

human rights accusations. To some degrees, Chinas propaganda arguments accompanied

with well-designed diplomatic activities have let China maneuver among many like-

minded governments and succeeded in saving its national image over the human rights

issue. For example, in the Geneva meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission, every

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year the Chinese government has gained the backing of many developing countries to block

Western initiatives to condemn Chinas human rights record.

In March 1990, in order to improve Chinas national image abroad in the post-

Tiananmen period, the CCP Central Committee decided to reestablish its Foreign

Propaganda Group (which had been closed since 1988). Also, a new Information Office

was established under the State Council in 1991 to coordinate detailed policies among a

variety of governmental departments and bureaus. Since then, China has institutionalized a

press conference system to explain the context of domestic and foreign policy decisions

and to develop communication plans to quickly respond to allegations of false charges or

misleading information. According to a senior Chinese leader who is in charge of

propaganda work,

(We should) focus on building an international environment that is advantageous to


us in terms o f public opinion.. .diligently innovate the contents, the methods and
means in the overseas propaganda works, strive for more understanding and support
from the international community...it is a strategic task in the ideology and
propaganda area to strengthen and improve the foreign propaganda.159

Since the early 1990s, as part of its intensified image-building activities, the

Chinese government has frequently issued white papers on subjects such as human rights,

the situation in Tibet, national defense, and environmental protection. Designed to

159 Li Changchun, a Standing Committee Member of CCP Central Committee Politburo


Bureau who is in charge of propaganda work, made a speech titled as Using Three
Representatives to lead overseas propaganda campaign in the National Overseas
Propaganda Work Meeting for 2004 held on April 20 in Beijing. On January 9, 2003, in
the National Overseas Propaganda Work Meeting, Li proposed to fully play the functions
of the major central committee media that work on foreign affairs, and to expand the
overseas influence. Adopt a means that (Chinese media) go abroad, and at the same time
invite (foreign media) to come in. Take care of the foreign media and the foreign
reporters. Improve the printing quality of the propaganda materials for oversea use, expand
the foreign distribution channels, explore the marketing mechanism to distribute the
overseas propaganda materials, and use every possible way to deliver our overseas
propaganda materials into foreigners hands.

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publicize and explain Chinas position on these sensitive questions to the international

community, these white papers represent a step forward from the days when the Chinese

government brushed aside international criticism of Chinese policies without engaging the

arguments. For instance, in late 1990 Chinas top leaders presided over an important

meeting on overseas publicity. The meeting called for Chinese from all walks of life to

help project a favorable image of China to the rest of the world. It required propaganda

workers to study the differences between foreigners (and overseas Chinese) and Chinese

nationals, and to distinguish methods of propaganda for these two audiences (Wang 2003:

46-72).

Seeking to create favorable images and inspire positive public opinion in other

countries, China has also aggressively pursued public diplomacy, which Nye defines as an

important channel to exert soft power. Following the model of the World Economic Forum

at Davos, China set up the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), an annual meeting in Chinas

Hainan Province that attracts a thousand business and political grandees from across Asia

to network and discuss regional issues. Additionally, China has developed lasting

relationships with key foreign dignitaries and opinion leaders such as the former US

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger through scholarships, exchanges, training, seminars,

and conferences. Finally, the Chinese government has sponsored and organized various

cultural events and institutions abroad to help improve the countrys image. For example,

the Year of Chinese Culture in France was inaugurated in October 2003. When Chinese

President Hu visited Paris in January 2004, hundreds of lanterns decorated the historic

Champs-Elysees, the landmark Eiffel Tower was lit up in red, and more than 7,500

performers staged a dazzling parade. Also Chinas new sophistication in promoting an

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effective cultural policy has been underscored by a number of recent charm offensive

trips by Chinese dignitaries, which have resulted in announcements of new deal on

Confucius Institutes in the countries visited. As of late 2005, there are 32 Confucius

Institutes in some 23 countries around the world. By 2010, China plans to establish at least

100 Confucius Institutes worldwide (Ding and Saunders 2006).

International broadcasting is viewed as an important component of Chinas public

diplomacy. Since the mid 1990s, new efforts have been made to increase Chinas

competitiveness in international broadcasting.160 For example, the Chinese government has

begun to comprehensively utilize the Internet to promote its views. Major government

organizations at all levels have set up their own websites allowing Chinas own reports on

such matters as human rights and other highly sensitive topics to be posted online and made

available to the public. In addition to the Xinhua News Agency and overseas TV

channels,161 China Radio International seeks to compete with the worlds leading radio

broadcasters, such as Voice of America and BBC World Service in Chinas neighboring

countries, especially in Southeast Asia. While Voice of Americas Chinese programming

has been reduced from 19 hours to 14 hours, China Radio Internationals English program

continues its 24/7 broadcast. Besides the propaganda work of its own media, the CCP has

had a policy of encouraging foreign media to report on China since the early days of the

160 Xinhua News Agency, President Calls for Further Propaganda Work to Enhance
Chinas Image Abroad, Reuters 28 February 1999. Jiang Zemin said, while carrying out
the overseas publicity work, we should make greater efforts to comprehensively brief the
world about China and improve and safeguard socialist Chinas international images.

161 China Central Television (CCTV) has the following overseas channels: CCTV-4 (an
international channel targeted at overseas Chinese), CCTV-9 (targeted at an English-
speaking audience), and CCTV-E&F (overseas channel targeted at Spanish-speaking and
French-speaking audiences).

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Chinese revolution. In addition to collaborating foreign writers and journalists to write

on China, the Chinese government has particularly encouraged joint-venture projects with

foreign television, radio, advertising companies, and film groups. Chinas strategists

recognize that in the global information age many turn to electronic media for news and

information, and collaborating with foreign media groups has enabled the Chinese media to

gain access to foreign audiences it would have not have reached otherwise.

Not only has China stepped up its efforts in developing its international

broadcasting power in traditional media, but it has increasingly paid attention to new forms

of media in cyberspace. By the end of 2005, China had more than 110 million Internet

users and approximately 270 million mobile phone users. Cybernetic networks have

become an important frontline for Chinas national image-building. Since China launched

its first Internet project, Chinese authorities have consistently determined to stop so-called

harmful information from spreading throughout the digital world. Foreign media and

human rights groups have always criticized Chinas information control policy. In recent

years, China has intensified its campaign to strengthen its control over digital networks, by

recruiting o f a growing army o f secret web commentators, using sophisticated new

monitoring software, and warning all bloggers and bulletin board operators to register with

the government or be closed down and fined. Chinese officials who are in charge of

information control in the cyber world believe that in the information age and the internet

age, the most important and critical mission in front of us is how to seize the initiative on

162 This is the policy known as using foreign strength to propagandize for China. Foreign
journalists such as Edgar Snow and Anna Louise Strong were among the earliest and best-
known examples of this policy. Waishi historians frequently cite Snows book Red Star
over China - as the first o f many foreign works that promoted the CCPs image abroad. As
a result of Snows book and later writings by other foreigners, immense good will was built
up in the Western world toward the CCP in the 1930s and 1940s.

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Intemet opinion and how to seize the high point of Internet opinion (Watt 2005). In one

of Chinas rare press briefings in February 2006, an official who supervises Internet affairs

for the Information Office o f the Chinese State Council did not dispute charges that China

operates a technologically sophisticated firewall to protect the ruling the CCP against what

it considers to be Web-based challenges from people inside China and abroad. He stressed

that Chinese Intemet-minders abide strictly by laws and regulations that in some cases have

been modeled on American and European statutes (Khan 2006).

Chinas new strategies and policies on national image-building, public diplomacy

and information control seem to be benefiting Chinas national image-building campaign.

According to a BBC World Service Poll, on average 48% of those polled view China as

positively, versus 30% who perceive it negatively.163 Also, a Pew research report revealed

that China is viewed more favorably than the US by many of Washingtons long-time allies

in the West.164 For example, almost 65 percent of Britons saw China favorably, compared

with 55 percent who held a positive view of the US. In France, 58 percent had an upbeat

view of China, compared with 43 percent who felt similarly about the US. The results

were nearly the same in Spain and the Netherlands. However, regarding whether China is

democratic country or responsible power, the poll results have always been disappointing.

163 The poll o f 22,953 people in 22 countries was conducted for the BBC World Service by
the polling organization GlobeScan, together with the Program on International Policy
Attitudes (PIP A) at the University of Maryland. It was completed in most of the countries
in December 2004. More information is available online at
<http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/BBCworldpoll/030505/html/bbcpoll3.html>.
Accessed on August 2, 2005.

164 See 16-Nations Pew Global Attitudes Survey conducted by Pew Global Attitudes
Project, released on 23 June 2005. <http://pewglobal.org/reports/display .php?PageID=800>
(accessed on 15 August 2005)

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In May 1999, a strong 69% majority told Gallup pollsters that China does a very bad job

(34%) or mostly bad job (35%) respecting the human rights of its citizens.165 More

specifically, several recent Pew studies have found that a majority of Americans do not

believe Chinas government is becoming more democratic and is allowing more freedoms

for Chinese citizens.166 In the recent Pew research report, a majority of people in most

countries would like to see another country get as much military power as the US, but few

want China to play that role.167 In the recent BBC World Service Poll, when asked how

they would feel if China becomes significantly more powerful militarily than it is today,

more than half of the citizens in the surveyed countries (59%) responded negatively, with
168
an average of just 24% expressing positive feelings. Most citizens in European nations

polled have a negative view of Chinas increasing military power (Germany 87%, Spain

74%, Italy 74%, Britain 65%, Poland 65%, and France 64%). Given that the EU had even

tried to lift its post-Tiananmen arms embargo to China, this stands as proof that China still

has a long way to go to establish a cooperative, peace-loving national image.

While it seems that China has made progress in improving its general national

image after the Tiananmen Crackdown, in some specific aspects, China still fails to project

a positive national image. For example, foreign public attitudes about Chinas human

165 See surveys by Pew/Gallup, from February 1989 to February 2004. Retrieved April 27,
2005 from the iPOLL Databank, The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research,
University o f Connecticut.

166 See the recent studies implemented by the Pew Research Center. The relevant reports
are available through its website <http://people-press.org/>.

167 Ibid.

168 The same poll conducted for the BBC World Service in December 2004.

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rights record are quite negative. In May 1999, a very strong 69% majority told Gallup

pollsters that China does a very bad job (34%) or mostly bad job (35%) respecting the

human rights of its citizens.169 More specifically, several recent Pew studies have found

that a majority o f Americans does not believe Chinas government is becoming more
17 0
democratic and is allowing more freedoms for Chinese citizens. Generally speaking,

while the New Deal helps strengthen Chinas soft power, the unwillingness to implement

fundamental political reform, as suggested by the continuous political repression and

violation of human rights, tarnishes Chinas international influence and reputation. Since

1989, the general perceptions of China in developed countries have always been heavily

influenced by their evaluations about Chinas democracy, especially human rights

behavior. As political values like democracy and human rights can be powerful sources of

attractiveness, they have become the weakest link of Chinas soft power as China refuses to

implement real political reform and improve some basic human rights like popular

elections, freedom o f speech, etc.

Also, although the Chinese government has encouraged military-to-military

exchanges since 1990s, most citizens around the world do not want to see Chinese military

power grow. During the last one and half decades, Chinese warships have frequently paid

visits to other countries and joint military exercises have been held or planned between the

Peoples Liberation Army and troops of other countries, including France, India, and

Russia. In the recent Pew research report, a majority of people in most countries would

169 Source: Surveys by Pew/Gallup, from February 1989 to February 2004. Retrieved April
27, 2005 from the iPOLL Databank, The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research,
University of Connecticut.

170 See the recent studies implemented by the Pew Research Center. The relevant reports
are available through its website <http://people-press.org/>.

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like see another country get as much military power as the US, but few want China to play

that role. In the recent BBC World Service Poll, asked how they would feel if China

becomes significantly more powerful militarily than it is today, the citizens in more than

half of the surveyed countries said that it would be negative. On average, 59 percent said it

would be negative and just 24 percent positive. Most citizens in European nations polled

have a negative view o f increasing Chinese military power (Germany 87%, Spain 74%,

Italy 74%, Britain 65%, Poland 65%, France 64%). Given that the EU is currently

considering lifting its post-Tiananmen arms embargo to China, it shows that China still has

a long way to go to establish its projected national image of peace-loving and

international cooperator.

Why, in such perspectives as human rights, military construction, etc, are Chinas

projected images so different from the other countries public opinion? On the one hand,

Chinas rapid growth of hard power resources (economic power and military power) may

cause others to look at China with caution and suspicion. For example, even if the Chinese

government has become much more cooperative in international affairs in the last one and

a half decades, the American perception of China has moved the other way - Americans

have become increasingly negative about China in this area. On the other hand, more

importantly, the differences between Chinas projected national images and its actual

behavior may sabotage the effects of Chinas soft power on the outcomes of its policy of

national image building. If China substantiates its words with deeds, there is a better

chance that Chinas projected national image will be accepted by others. For instance, it is

hard for Japanese to concur with Chinas self-portrayal as a peace-loving nation when

Chinese government failed to stop its peoples attack on Japanese embassy in recent

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Chinas anti-Japan protests. It is also no wonder that many Americans regard China as a

warlike country unless China promises to settle the Taiwan issue peacefully.

To summarize, in this chapter, I analyzed how China mobilized its soft power

resources to build its projected national image in this chapter. First, I discussed some

theoretical literature about the impacts of national image on foreign policy. Second, I

conducted a historical review of how Chinas national image declined continuously from

the Tang Dynasty to the Mao Era. I find that national image had always played an

important role in the history of Chinas foreign relations. Third, I assess the effects of

Chinas soft power on its national image building in its modernization process. I find that

on the one hand, the Chinese government has paid a lot of attention on its national image

building, and China has made progress in improving its general national image in it

modernization process; on the other hand, even if the Chinese government has made great

efforts in promoting its projected images in some specific aspects after the Tiananmen

Crackdown, China still cannot be perceived as a peace-loving country and an international

cooperator by the West. With these conclusions in mind, I will explore how China wields

its soft power around the world, especially among three kinds of countries - its neighboring

Asian countries, the distant developing countries, and the Western countries.

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Chapter IX Assessing Chinas Ability to Wield Soft Power

Given the time it takes to influence preferences and the relative difficulty of mobilizing

available soft power resources in a coherent and consistent manner, soft-power resources

are slower, more diffused, and more cumbersome to wield in international politics than

hard-power resources (Nye 2004a: 100). This complicates the assessment of soft power, in

part because many o f the soft-power resources discussed here are relatively recent

phenomena, and, should they have any impact, have yet to be fully demonstrated. At the

risk of drawing conclusions prematurely, this chapter will focus on a preliminary

assessment o f the probable connections between Chinas soft power resources and the

actual foreign policy outcomes. First, I will make three propositions as to how China can

wield its soft power in different countries, and then test the validity of these propositions

using some of the most recent polls measuring Chinas popularity in the world,

supplemented by current media reports on how the other countries respond to Chinas

wielding of soft power.

Three Propositions Regarding Chinas Use of Soft Power

The evaluation of a countrys ability to effectively wield power cannot be separated from

its foreign policy objectives. What does China need soft power for? Officially, its

fundamental goals are to preserve Chinas independence, sovereignty and territorial

integrity, and to create a favorable international environment for Chinas modernization

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171
construction. Beijings ultimate objective is to boost Chinas power and influence at

the regional and global levels, or, in former President Jiang Zemins words, to restore

Chinas national greatness. In order to avoid the competition-inducing policies of Weimar

Germany, Imperial Japan, and the former Soviet Union, China has looked to a policy of

peaceful rise. In the words of the main architect (Zheng Bijian) of this theory, while

seeking a peaceful international environment to ensure our development, we are

safeguarding world peace through our own development (Zheng 2004). The peaceful

rise dictates the need to build up Chinas regional and global power and influence and

reassure other countries how it will use this rising power and influence.

The rise o f China and the ensuing power shift precipitates a readjustment of the

behavioral patterns o f other affected powers that have a stake in existing international

system. According to Kenneth Waltz, when confronted with the emergence of a new

power, a security-conscious established power adopts a strategy of balance (allying with

others against the rising power) rather than bandwagoning (alignment with an ascendant

state or coalition) (Waltz 1979). John Mearsheimer further argues that regional hegemons

(e.g., US) have strong incentives to prevent other geographical areas from being dominated

by other great powers (Mearsheimer 2001). Contending that China cannot rise peacefully,

he predicts that the United States and China are likely to engage in an intense security

competition with most of Chinas neighbors allying with the US in an attempt to contain

Chinas power (Brzezinski and Mearsheimer 2005).

171 See Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC, Chinas Independent Foreign Policy of
Peace, August 18, 2003. <http://www.finprc.gov.cn/eng/wjdt/wjzc/t24881.htm> (accessed
on July 31, 2005).

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While balancing is historically more common than bandwagoning, these assertions

nevertheless are unduly pessimistic and fatalistic about the consequences of Chinas rise.

Since states ally in response to threats, not power per se, reactions to a rising power can

vary from balancing to bandwagoning or buck-passing (free-ride on the efforts of others to

provide security or opt for neutrality) (Walt 1987). According to Stephen Walt, these

reactions are a function o f the international distribution of power, geographic proximity,

availability of allies, intentions of the rising power, ideological/cultural solidarity, and the

effectiveness of transnational penetration.172 The first three factors are context-based. To

be specific, (1) states are attracted to strength. A decline in a states relative position will

increase the incentives for its allies to buck-pass or defect to the other side. (2) Proximate

threats can affect alliance choice. States are more likely to remain ambivalent when

responding to distant rising powers than to powers in their immediate vicinity; small and

weak neighbors o f a great power may be more tempted to bandwagon when they feel too

vulnerable to a powerful neighbor. (3) Weak states will be inclined to choose buck-passing

or appeasement with regard to the rising power if they see no possibility of outside

assistance.

The other three variables are substantive and more directly related to soft power.

First, given that intention, not power, is crucial in alliance choices, a rising power that is

perceived as less aggressive is less likely to provoke others to balance against it. Here the

values expressed through the style and substance of Chinas foreign policy can play a great

role. If China is considered by others as a responsible and cooperative actor in

172 Ibid. Unless noted otherwise, the following analyses that lead to the three propositions
are based on Walt, Explaining Alliance Formation, in his book The Origins o f Alliances,
pp. 17-49.

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international affairs, others are more likely to seek a policy of neutrality (refusing to echo

the calls for balancing) or bandwagoning (being sympathetic or supportive of the countrys

foreign policy objectives). Foreign aid in particular can communicate favorable intentions,

evokes a sense of gratitude, or makes the recipient dependent upon the donor. When

alternatives are nonexistent or less valuable, recipients will be more willing to follow the

donors foreign policy preference. Second, like states attract. States with similar cultural

or political traits are more likely to ally. This is so not only because like-minded states

tend not to fear one another, but also because alignment with similar states may enhance

the legitimacy o f a weak regime. Third, transnational penetration (e.g., cultural influence,

public diplomacy) intended to manipulate attitudes of the public and elites is more likely to

succeed in open societies, provided that the efforts are viewed as legitimate and rising

power does not seek to subvert target regime. A rising authoritarian state may not be a

natural ally o f a liberal democracy, but it can still succeed in influencing public opinion and

decision-making in the democracy where power is diffuse and censorship is rare. Indeed,

the closed system may provide a rising authoritarian power with an advantage in wielding

its soft power, in the sense that its leaders, diplomats and bureaucrats can be more focused
173
and unified in formulating and implementing their policies toward the target state.

The interaction o f these two sets of variables leads to the following propositions:

Proposition 1: China wields its soft power most successfully in neighboring Asian

countries, especially those in Southeast Asia. This is due to the tremendous efforts made to

alleviate fear and suspicion of China, and the presence of a favorable international

173 See James McGregor, Advantage, China, Washington Post 31 July 2005.

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environment (traditional cultural links, weak neighbors, US preoccupation with Iraq and

Afghanistan, and transformed economic relations in this region).

Proposition 2: China is increasingly having its way in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin

America, where authoritarian or semi-authoritarian regimes remain common, Chinas

development model is admired, and many countries are marginalized/alienated by the

existing international system.

Proposition 3: China will face a greater challenge convincing Western liberal democracies

to believe that its rise is peaceful and to adopt foreign policies it prefers, given that

political/ideological solidarity is low and many in this group are great powers themselves.

However, China can still improve its image and increase its leverage in these countries by

taking advantage o f open societies while pursuing a more cooperative, responsible, and

constructive foreign policy.

In order to test the validity of these propositions, I have relied on polls measuring

Chinas global popularity, supplemented by other information. As Nye has stated,

popularity is not an end in itself in foreign policy, but polls are a good first approximation

of both how attractive a country appears and the costs that are incurred by unpopular

policies (Nye 2004a: 18). According to the new BBC World Service poll, as seen in

Figure 9.1 and Figure 9.2, Chinas global influence is viewed positively by a majority or

plurality of citizens in 14 of the 22 surveyed countries. In total, almost half (48 percent)

see Chinas influence as positive, higher than those (38 percent) who say the same for the

US. In no country did a majority of those polled have a negative view o f China. In support

of the huge potential o f Chinas soft power, an even higher average (58 percent) of young

people (18-29) worldwide view China as benign. It is unlikely that these favorable ratings

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have been derived from Chinas coercive power: in fact, the same BBC survey finds that an

average of 59 percent said that an increase is Chinas military power would be a bad thing.

China in Neighboring Asian States: From Fear to Fever

The BBC survey supports the success of Chinas soft power in neighboring countries which

have historically displayed substantial suspicion of China. In India, for instance, 66

percent of those polled view China positively, compared to 54 percent who say the same

about the US. Despite decades of tensions, a history of border wars, and the fact that China

is a close, long-term strategic ally of Pakistan, India appears to be reassured that China will

indeed rise peacefully. This is demonstrated by the strong positive view of Chinas

increased economic clout (68 percent) and military power (56 percent). In another major

neighboring state, Russia, a plurality (42 percent) expressed positive views of Chinas

influence (as opposed to 16 percent who say the same about the US). Rather than balance

against the rise o f China, Russia and former Soviet republics in Central Asia are now

cooperating with China to crack down on terrorism and reduce US influence in Central

Asia. Through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, China, Russia, Kazakhstan,

Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan recently called for the U.S to set a deadline for

withdrawing from military bases in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

In two o f its East Asian neighbors, Japan and South Korea, public opinion on China

appears equally divided. In South Korea, a plurality (48 percent) see Chinas influence as

positive, while a close 47 percent have a negative view. Similarly, in Japan, a plurality (25

percent) has a negative outlook toward Chinas influence, while a close 22 percent see it as

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positive. A similar pattern can be identified when we examine the US image in these two

countries. This suggests that there is no clear winner in the tug of war over soft power

between China and the US in South Korea and Japan.

In comparison to its public image in South Korea and Japan, China is significantly

more popular in Southeast Asia, with a majority of positive views found in the Philippines

(70 percent) and Indonesia (68 percent). According to David Shambaugh, Chinas charm

offensive was a specifically designed foreign strategy to wield its soft power. In the

second half o f the 1990s, China began holding annual meetings with senior officials from

the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).174 In 1997, China helped initiate

the ASEAN + 3 mechanism, a series of yearly meetings among the ten ASEAN countries

plus China, Japan, and South Korea. Next came the ASEAN + 1 mechanism, annual

meetings between ASEAN and China, usually headed by the Chinese Premier. China also

increased its participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum,

hosting its ninth leaders meeting in Shanghai in 2001. In November 2002, China signed

the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea with ASEAN at the

culmination o f the sixth China-ASEAN Summit. It marked a great strengthening of mutual

trust between China and ASEAN countries and signaled Chinas willingness to relax its
1nc

security concerns through multilateral diplomatic efforts. China even began to promote

its own security framework at the Asian Regional Forum (ARF). At the 2003 ASEAN

summit, China formally proposed the establishment of a new security mechanism. From

1979 to 1989, Chinas new strategic initiatives and enhanced national image building

174 ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines,
Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

175 See relevant reports in China Daily 29 November 2002.

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policies produced consistently favorable outcomes. The perception o f China among

foreign countries (especially Western countries) greatly improved in the 1980s.

Figure 9.1 Chinese Global Influences in Figure 9.2 China Becoming More
the World Militant

Japan I

Poland Germany

Mexico

Germany Poland

Turkey Australia
Argentina

United States
Turkey

Russia United States

Argentina France

Great Britain Russia

South K orea Canada

Canada
France Great Britain

Indonesia

Australia
Mexico

South Africa South Korea


South Africa

Indonesia Lebanon

Philippines Philippines

Lebanon

World Average World Average

20% 40% 60% 80% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

I Mainly positive B Mainly negative B Mainly positive B Mainly negative

Source: BBC World Service Poll (2004).

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Indeed, many Southeast Asian countries now either have a far closer relationship

with China than the US, or are moving in this direction. Polls taken in late 2003 in

Thailand, for example, showed that more than thee quarters of respondents considered

China to be Thailands closest friend, with only 9 percent choosing the US. As Beijings

influence continues to grow, many Southeast Asian countries look to China for regional

leadership or, at a minimum, take into account Chinas interests and concerns in their

decision-making process.176 This is evidenced by the fact that lower-ranking diplomats of

Southeast Asian countries have begun turning to Chinese colleagues for guidance during

international meetings. The rise in Beijings political and diplomatic clout allows it to

emerge as an active and decisive leader in a region long dominated by the United States.

Most countries in this region are now on board with Chinas claim to sovereignty over

Taiwan. Recently, Beijing took the lead in transforming the ASEAN+3 framework into

the East Asian Summit (EAS). The first EAS meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur in

December 2005, including India, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand joining in, but

excluding the US. Chinas ability of agenda-setting on this issue is clearly evidenced in the

failure of some participating countries to express views Beijing did not favor. Japans

suggestion that the US at least be invited to the meeting as an observer reportedly made no

headway, suggesting that Beijings soft power is wielded to a level that nations in this

region are willing to risk being left to face the rise of China on their own.177

176 See David Shambaugh, Beijing charms its neighbors, International Herald Tribune 14
May 2005.

177 Chinas Power Play in Asia, The Asian Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2005

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China in the Distant Developing World: Trading its Way for Power

In some distant countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, not only is anxiety

over Beijings rise diminished, but the idea of a powerful China challenging US dominance

is becoming increasingly attractive. This is particularly true in countries alienated by US

policies or marginalized by the existing international system. Against this international

background, Beijing has found its soft power to be very effective in these regions. The

BBC poll finds that o f 7 countries, 5 have either a majority (Lebanon, South Africa, Chile,

and Brazil) or a plurality (Argentina, Mexico) favoring Chinese influence in the world. It

is particularly interesting that China receives favorable ratings from Latin American

countries whose manufacturing sectors, such as Mexicos textile industry, face significant

competition from China. When asked if they think it would be positive or negative if

China were to become significantly more powerful economically than it is today, 54

percent of Mexicans polled saw it as positive, with only 18 percent expressing a negative

view.

Without worrying too much about fear and suspicion toward China in these regions,

Beijing focuses more on extending its economic and diplomatic influence, which is driven

by the need to expand trade, obtain natural resources, and isolate Taiwan internationally.

In this instance Beijings soft power once again helps it achieve desired policy objectives.

The existence of like-minded states in the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa and the

attractiveness o f Chinas development model have facilitated Beijings quest for market

share, natural resources, and political influence. In Iran, for example, two of Khameneis

foreign policy advisers are big champions of the Chinese model - former foreign minister

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17R
Ali Akbar Velayati and his former deputy, Abbas Maleki. Under their auspices, Iran is

consciously looking eastwards, with a clear intent of reinforcing its linkages with China

and India (Shuja 2005 : 10). Today, China has become one of the most important trade

partners of Iran, which provides 13 percent of Chinas total annual oil imports.179 Due to

the Iraq War, the Saudi Arabia has reduced its oil supply to the US since 2002. At the

same time, China became one o f Saudi Arabias largest customers. Access to energy

resources will continue to shape the world in years to come, and it will dictate the

international behavior o f countries as it plays an increasing role in relations between major

powers. New alliances may be forged, such as the budding relationship between China and

Saudi Arabia (Luft 2005).

A similar dynamic is observed in some Latin American countries. Declaring

himself to have been a Maoist from the time he was a child, populist Venezuelan President

Hugo Chavez not only agreed to place its oil at the disposal of the great Chinese

fatherland, but also re-affirmed Venezuelas support for a One China policy and
i sn
opposition to Taiwans independence during a recent visit to Beijing. Such diplomatic

flirtations with China raise concerns that Mr. Chavez may join with like-minded states such

as Iran, Libya, Cuba and China to form a new bloc of undemocratic regimes to oppose the

178 Irans Islamic Conservatives Ponder Chinese Model, Reuters, February 25, 2004.
<http://www.iranian.ws/cgi-bin/iran_news/exec/view.cgi/2/1481> (accessed on 1 August
2005)

179 Robert Collier, China on global hunt to quench its thirst for oil, San Francisco
Chronicle 26 June 2005.

180 Chavez ponders Mao and Bolivar friendship, Reuters, December 24, 2004; Juan
Forero, China Oil Diplomacy in Latin America, New York Times, March 1, 2005.

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| 01
United States. Washington has reason to be wary of this prospect, given the recent

return to power o f leftist governments in many Latin America countries.182 The potential

for divergence with Washington has already been observed in Brazil, where the

government has made it clear that it views the connection between the biggest emerging

markets with Brazil in the western and China in eastern hemispheres as a card that can be
181
played to offset American influence and trade dominance. Under President Lula, Brazil

has agreed to recognize China as a market economy, which would make it harder to

impose penalties on China for dumping exports. Ideological sympathies reportedly play an

important role in forging Brazils pro-China policy.184

In addition to this political/ideological solidarity, Beijings uniquely savvy

diplomacy also contributes to its success in the other parts of the developing world. Africa

provides a good case in point. Several features distinguish Chinas African diplomacy.

Chinas presence in Africa has been consistent since the 1960s. In the 1970s, China

actively supported Robert Mugabes ZANU liberation movement that fought the minority

white regime. Chinas support of Mugabe was sustained even after Americans and

Europeans withdrew from Zimbabwe due to his destructive land reform program and poor

human rights record. Similarly, China has continued to invest heavily in Sudan, and sells

181 A Threat to Latin Democracy, Washington Post, March 31, 2005.

182 Alvaro Vargas Llosa, The Return of Latin Americas Left, New York Times, March
22, 2005.

183 Richard Lapper, A New Challenge for America in its Own Backyard, Financial
Times, May 22, 2004.

184 Larry Rohter, China Widens Economic Role in Latin America, New York Times,
November 20, 2004.

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weapons to the Sudanese despite Western criticism of their human rights record. Because

of this reliability, African leaders like to call China an all-weather friend. In return for

this friendship, for example, Mugabe has adopted a Look East policy that encourages

thousands of Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in Zimbabwe.185

With regard to Africa, China is very sophisticated in using international aid to

achieve its foreign policy objectives. As US Congresswoman Barbara Lee has observed,

Chinese influence in Africa is a natural result of decades of aid and political sympathy:

between 1955 and 1977, while the US was absent in supporting Africans fighting for their

political independence, China provided them with more than $142 million in military aid;

since 2000 China has canceled over $1 billion Africas debt to China.186 In the post-Cold

War era, when Africa is no longer considered a strategic priority by the US, Chinese

support has become even more highly valued, and this helps to expand Chinas global

influence. Chinas relationship with Ethiopia provides a case in point. Until the mid-

1990s, Chinas ties with this country were limited. When Ethiopia went to war against

neighboring Eritrea in the late 1990s, the US responded by reducing its diplomatic

presence. Conversely, China reacted by dispatching even more diplomats, engineers,

businessmen and teachers to Ethiopia and offering new aid grants and bank credits. This

explains why today China is able to exercise overwhelming influence in Ethiopia - while its

185 Gavin du Venage, Dealing with the dictators, Sunday Morning Post (Hong Kong),
July 17, 2005.

186 China No Threat to United States in Africa, U.S. Official Says, available online at
American Embassy in China web site <http://www.usembassy-
china.org.cn/press/release/2005/072905chi.html> (accessed on 3 August 2005).

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embassy hosts more high level visits than any Western mission, Chinese companies have

also become a dominant force.187

With the exception of the Taiwan issue, China has not used its economic clout to

place political pressure on Africa. In promoting its economic agenda, China seeks to

differentiate itself from Western countries by stressing the common history of exploitation

China and many African nations have suffered under Western colonialism. This not only

draws sympathy from African media and leaders, but also serves to perpetuate the idea that

Chinese companies tend to make investment that benefit benefit rather than exploit Africa,

making Chinas investment and development a welcome presence (Mooney 2005).

Furthermore, Chinas strategy helps Beijing to achieve another policy objective - denying

Taiwan any greater diplomatic space on the continent, although Taiwan has always

invested large amounts of money and resources in an effort to break into diplomatic

relations with Africa. At present, only 7 African nations have relations with Taiwan - one-

quarter of the total.188

Beijings relationship with dictators in the developing world nevertheless can also

undercut its efforts to become a responsible world power. Rapid economic growth has
180
increased the need for more natural resources and markets overseas. For example, as the

worlds largest oil importer behind the US, China has oil interests in Sudan, Nigeria,

Angola, Iran, Myanmar, and Venezuela - all countries with questionable regimes.

187 Karby Leggett, China Flexes Economic Muscle Throughout Burgeoning Africa, The
Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2005, p. A1.

188 Zhongguo qingnian bao (China youth daily), August 16, 2005.
<http://world.people.com.cn/GB/14549/3619896.html>. (Accessed on 16 August 2005).

189 China became a net crude oil importer in the early 1990s.

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However, Beijing appears to express no qualms about dealing with corrupt, even brutal

dictators. Just recently, Beijing lavished honors on visiting Zimbabwean President Robert

Mugabe, a pariah in the West whose urban eviction program has been criticized by the UN

as causing catastrophic injustice.190 Close economic and political ties keep afloat these

dictatorships and blunt the international pressures for any meaningful economic and

political reform. In 2004, China foiled US efforts to impose sanctions on Sudan, which

supplies nearly 5 percent o f Chinas oil but has a notorious human rights record, especially

in its Darfur region.191 Moreover, Chinas support of African dictators only serves to

antagonize democratic oppositions in certain countries and will not help Beijing expand

influence in the future if regimes that it is closely associated with are toppled. The

opposition Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe, for example, has made it clear

that it would not honor any loan repayments or deals signed by Mugabe if it came to

power.192 To the extent that soft power rests on legitimacy - and there has been a growing

international commitment to the protection of basic human rights - Chinas efforts to

expand its influence in these countries make it appear like an accessory to violence and

human rights abuses, which tarnishes its image in international society.

China in the Western Liberal Democracies: A Tough Sell

190 China hails Mugabes brilliant diplomacy, Financial Times 27 July 2005.

191 Abraham McLaughlin, A rising China counters US clout in Africa, Christian Science
Monitor, March 30, 2005; Karby Leggett, China Flexes Economic Muscle throughout
Burgeoning Africa, Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2005.

192 Mugabe rebuffed by China, The Australian, August 1, 2005.

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Chinas soft power is also felt in the Western democracies. No western country in the BBC

survey had a majority o f the public holding a negative view of Chinas influence. Australia

(56 percent) and France (49 percent) lead the liberal democracies in favoring Chinas

global influence. The percentage is not as high as that in Lebanon or the Philippines, but is

still impressive. Even in the US, where 47 percent of those polled held negative views on

Chinas influence (the highest among all surveyed nations), 39 percent expressed a positive

impression. According to two nationwide surveys conducted by Zogby International in

1994 and 2004, the US general public held a significantly more favorable impression of
10 '?
China in 2004 (59 percent) than ten years ago (46 percent).

Compared with its presence in other regions, China has multiple foreign policy

objectives to pursue in advanced industrial democracies. They include, but are not limited

to: 1) promoting trade and investment; 2) securing the support of the One China policy;

3) breaking the Western embargo on arms sales and the transfer of advanced technologies

to China; 4) allaying the fears of China threat; and 5) boosting Chinas power and

influence (Sutter). In order to achieve these policy objectives, China has gone to

considerable effort to improve its ties with Western liberal democracies. For example,

China actively wields its soft power in Western Europe. In 1996, China became a founding

member of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which holds biannual summits for heads of

state and yearly ministerial meetings. Two years later, China and the EU also initiated an

annual political dialogue. Most dramatically, Beijing even approached NATO in late 2004

for the first time and proposed to begin a series of conversations. This proposal may

appear modest, but it marked a significant departure from Beijings tradition of criticizing

193 Committee o f 100, American Attitudes toward China, January-April 2005.

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this American-led alliance. The China-EU dialogue on human rights, which was initiated

in 1996 and is held twice a year, creates a platform for China to communicate with the

West directly on sensitive issues, and allows the EU to channel concerns directly to

Chinese authorities in an open and constructive atmosphere. An obvious goal of Chinas

sophisticated diplomatic efforts in Europe is to raise Chinas international influence and

prestige while keeping the excessive influence of the US in check.

Preliminary evidence suggests that Chinas soft power has contributed to the

achievement of some o f these objectives. Despite US resistance, French President Chirac

and former German Chancellor Schroeder are pushing other European countries to lift the

EU embargo on selling arms to China, which was imposed after the Tiananmen Crackdown

in 1989. While Chinas new-found economic might is significant, a trade-driven soft

power without a military threat is believed to be an important reason behind the efforts

aimed at ending the arms-sale ban (Liu and Barry 2005). An obvious example is the recent

Sino-EU textile agreement. Chinas Minister of Business reiterated that China and the EU

successfully settled their trade dispute through dialogue and negotiation, which has

constituted a sharp contrast to certain countries one-sided action in handling similar

problems.194 This win-win agreement will not only help China establish itself as a

trusted player willing to compromise, but also sets a good example for Chinas future trade

talks, especially with the US.

Similar reasons explain why some Western democracies are unwilling to position

themselves opposite Beijing, even if this means that they have to go against Washington.

In March 2005, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer made it clear that Australia

194 See relevant reports from Peoples Daily on June 11, 2005.

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would prefer to stay on the sidelines should the US and China go to war over Taiwan.

Three months later, the Howard government agreed to attend the East Asian Summit that

excludes the US. In explaining this dramatic change of Australian foreign policy, a senior

Australian scholar observed, the Chinese have proved better than the US at using the soft

power o f trade and diplomacy, which was supposed to be a strong point for the latter.195

Even in its relations with the US, China has been able to cash in its soft power for

diplomatic gains. By playing a pivotal role in the Six-Party Talks over North Korea,

Beijing was given credit for being a responsible power, while successfully convincing

Washington to accept its leadership role in North Korea nuclear issues. Presumably

mindful of strong US interest in working with China on issues such as North Korea, the US

administration has played down human rights concerns in China.196

Despite the above progress, Chinas soft power leaves much to be desired in

advanced industrial democracies. Not coincidentally, the only three countries with a

plurality viewing Chinese influence as negative (Germany, US, and Poland) are liberal

democracies. Unlike other parts of the world, a security threat from China is entrenched in

the West, as many citizens in Europe and North America have a negative view of

increasing Chinese military power. Even in France, the country that is pushing for lifting

the ban on EU arms sales to China, 64 percent of the public polled expressed negative

views of Chinas military power. This is interesting, if we consider the widespread anti-

195 Hugh White, After Britain and the US, China is in line to be our new best friend, The
Sydney Morning Herald, March 24, 2005.

196 Glenn Kessler and Robin Wright, Bushs Words on Liberty Dont Mesh With
Policies, Washington Post, January 21, 2005.

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107
Americanism in the world. Obviously, the idea of having China as an alternative

military power challenging the US is not favored by the general public in the Western

world. As suggested by the 16-Nation Pew Survey, in each liberal democracy the

percentage o f people who agree that a rising China militarily challenging the US as positive

is consistently lower than the percentage of people who agree that Chinas economic

growth is good for their countries. This pattern is quite different from that in the Middle

East, where the situation is reversed (See Figure 9.3). What is equally striking is that

unlike the views of China in the Middle East, there is no direct correlation between

opinions on Chinas growing economic might and attitudes toward the potential rise of

China as a military power: as suggested in the German case, a country that has a majority

Figure 9.3 Views of China in Liberal Democracies vs. Middle East

last

E c o n o m ic
g ro w th g o o d for
o u r c o u n try

M ilitary rival to
U S w o uld b e
good

Country

Source: 16-Nation Pew Global Attitudes Survey.

197 The 16-Nation Pew Survey reveals that in Western Europe and Canada, large majorities
favor a countervailing military force with more than 69 percent o f the publics in France,
Germany, Spain and the Netherlands taking that view. Pew Global Attitudes Project,
American Character Gets Mixed Reviews, 16-Nation Pew Global Attitudes Survey,
available online at <http://www.pewglobal.org>.

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favoring economic exchange with China could also be extremely against the rise of China

as a military rival to US. The widespread fear of Chinas rise as a military power can

easily be manipulated by self-interested individuals or groups to foil Beijings attempts to

boost its global or regional influence. By raising the specter of national security, for
1OR
instance, the US Congress successfully forced China to withdraw its bid for Unocal.

Why is projecting soft power in liberal democracies such a tough sell? As Nye has

pointed out, states that are likely to gain soft power in the information age are those whose

dominant ideas are closer to global norms, which now emphasize liberalism, pluralism and

autonomy (Nye 2004b). Yet until today, political power in China is still monopolized by

the CCP, which, to great extent, continues to suppress political freedom and violate human

rights. This lack of meaningful political reform, coupled with Beijings friendship with

Third World dictators, undermines Chinas ability to claim a moral high ground in a world

that has seen the dramatic decline of US soft power. Not surprisingly, in response to a

hypothetical question posed by the 16-Nation Pew study, more than 12 percent of those

polled in each West European country see the US as the major power most likely to come

to the aid of people threatened by genocide, and no more than 3 percent in each country

would turn to China.

Beijings soft power is further weakened by the sovereignty-diminishing dynamics

of globalization, which has altered the balance of power in the international system, giving

more direct power to non-state actors (NGOs, IGOs, MNCs, and individuals) than at any

other time in history. As a result, many non-state actors have gained their own soft power

as they attract citizens into coalitions that cut across national borders and operate at very

198 No Way to Treat A Dragon, New York Times, August 5, 2005.

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lost cost. Even though some Western leaders would like to develop a cozy relationship

with rulers in Beijing, non-state actors operating in these countries and elsewhere with a

different agenda (e.g., human rights groups, labor unions, Falun Gong movement, Tibetan

emigre community, Chinese political dissidents) can mange to sabotage these efforts by

playing the China threat or human rights cards. Beijing finds it difficult to compete with

these groups for soft power, in part because attraction depends upon credibility, something

a Beijing propaganda campaign often lacks. Very often, Beijings public diplomacy in

liberal democracies appears to be mere window dressing for the projection of hard power.

The crude use of nationalist sentiment, of course, can make things even worse, especially

when it targets a democracy such as Japan or Taiwan. It is now widely agreed that by

pushing through the Anti-Secession Law and reminding Europe how seriously it is

considering using force in the Taiwan Straits, Beijing actually managed to persuade EU

countries to slow down the drive to lift the arms embargo against China. According to a

New York Times editorial, President Bush had been urging just such a reconsideration on

European leaders without much result. It took Chinas legislative authorization of war to

prove that Mr. Bush was absolutely right.199

In this chapter, I further assess Chinas soft power using a behaviorist model that

analyzes how China wields its soft power worldwide. First, I made three propositions

about Chinas use o f soft power in three different categories of countries - its neighboring

Asian countries, distant developing countries, and Western liberal democracies. I then

tested the validities of these propositions through recent polls that measure Chinas global

popularity, supplemented by new media reports on reactions to Chinas wielding o f soft

199 China Warrants an Arms Embargo, New York Times, March 28, 2005.

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power. I find that it depends both on Chinas capabilities of wielding its soft power

efficiently and the object countries to determine whether China can wield its soft power to

achieve its desired policy outcomes. Among Chinas neighbors, Southeast Asian countries

have a more positive perception of China and its ascendancy; while in Japan and South

Korea public opinion of China appears equally divided. In distant countries in the Middle

East, Africa, and Latin America, and particularly those alienated by US policies or

marginalized by the existing international system, not only the anxiety over Beijings rise is

dampened, but the idea o f a powerful China challenging the US dominant status is

becoming increasingly attractive. However, the low efficiency of Chinas soft power

wielding in the Western liberal democracies is due to its lack o f meaningful political

reform, coupled with its friendship with dictators in the Third World.

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Chapter X Conclusions

China is clearly on the rise, a fact that has stimulated many debates among scholars,

policymakers, and journalists. Although there are some disputes about the speed and extent

of this global phenomenon, much attention has been paid to the question o f whether

Chinas growing power portends a threat. Most China observers point to Chinas territorial

and demographic size, its modernizing economy, and its increasing defense budget as

evidence that China may become a revisionist power capable of dominating Asia and

challenging American interests. At least four themes have been prominent in the debates

over the implications of Chinas rise: (1) How large are Chinas economic and military

capabilities?; (2) What does the growth of Chinese power (if, in fact, it is growing) imply

for the peace and stability of the international system?; (3) What are Chinas intentions?

Does it seek to aggressively challenge and change the international system?; and (4) How

should the US and other countries respond to Chinas growing power (Lynn-Jones 2000:

xi-xii)?

In examining Chinas rise, many China-watchers are most attentive to the countrys

use of hard power - its ability to use economic inducement and sanction or military threat

and invasion to get its way. The second face of Chinas growing power - the ability of its

ideas and values to shape the world through attraction and agenda setting - has never

received much attention in the academia circle and policy world.

Based on the above assessments of Chinas soft power, I have found that China has

achieved impressive gains in its overall level of soft power since it began its reform and

open door policies at the end of the 1970s. Regarding cultural attractiveness, China

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succeeds in not only making more achievements of spreading Chinas traditional culture

across the globe, but it also has already become a supporter, benefactor, and agenda-setter

in current cultural globalization. As for political attractiveness, although Chinas image

has been tarnished by its policies on such issues as human rights, Tibet, Falun Gong, and

migrant workers, its successful development model and the new deal pursued by the

current leadership has, become increasingly popular domestically and in certain developing

countries, and has helped improve the countrys global image. In terms of foreign policy,

Chinas new strategies and policies, which are usually termed collectively as new

diplomacy, have increased Chinas involvement in international agenda-setting. New

diplomacys stands on some international issues have earned China respect in the

international community. In general, since the 1990s, China has made progress in

developing its soft power resources and its ability to convert its resources into desired

foreign policy outcomes. Chinas thrust of soft power has enabled it to restructure its

geopolitical alliances in ways that will aid in its rise as a global power. It also provides

Beijing with political capital for use in times of crisis. As more countries opt for buck-

passing or bandwagoning in dealing with the rising giant, the likelihood that the United

States will assemble an effective international alliance to balance Chinas ascendancy will

be significantly reduced.

However, I also find that the further projection of Chinas soft power is constrained

by historical factors, domestic political institutions, and the international system of which it

is a part. Nevertheless, the West perpetuates the unwritten rule that although China might

become a wealthy nation, Western values and culture will continue to define the world in

the near future. Based on this rule, the biggest challenge facing Chinas development and

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projection of its soft power in the 21st century is to provide good governance and grapple

with the political and social consequences of its own policies of reform and open door.

Confronted by the potential for social unrest, China must implement real political reform,

find ways to put its current social issues on its political agenda, and integrate newly

emerging social forces into its reformed political power structures. Without attractive

political values and a persuasive domestic performance, Chinese culture will not attain real

and sustained global attractiveness, causing Chinas foreign policy to become rhetorical

propaganda that will often be misconstrued by other countries, risking conflict.

Therefore, Chinas further projection of its soft power will face the following

challenges. First, in an age o f democratization, globalization and information revolution,

Chinas development model with its authoritarianism and crony capitalism cannot be

widely accepted as an attractive alternative to democracy and market-based capitalism,

though it has some near-term popularity in the developing world. Second, in a uni-polar

international system, China would find it difficult to compete with the US in expanding its

soft power, especially in the area of popular culture and economic-political institutions.

Third, the sovereignty-diminishing dynamics of globalization have altered the balance of

power in the international system, giving more direct power to non-state actors than any

time in history. While some of these non-state actors, such as international media networks

and MNCs, may develop a cooperative relationship with the government thus enhancing

Chinas soft power, others such as the Falun Gong movement, the Tibetan emigre

community, and political dissidents can organize transnationally at very low costs to gamer

more international sympathy and support to discredit the Chinese governments efforts to

present a positive image. Therefore, despite the increasing ability to shape outside views

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and political agendas, China will have a long way to go before it possesses the level of soft

power that will make it a true global leader.

Moreover, China has yet to develop an ideal mix of soft power resources to achieve

desired foreign policy objectives worldwide. O f the three types of soft power resources,

China is most successful in it its efforts to present an appealing foreign policy and boost its

cultural attractiveness. It is less successful in developing a viable political/ideological

alternative to the market and democracy. In terms of policy outcomes, Beijings ability to

convert soft power resources into desired policy outcomes varies across regions. It has

deftly used its soft power resources to successfully allay the traditional fears of outside

nations while projecting its influence in neighboring states, especially those in Southeast

Asia. China has also made great strides in promoting trade, investment, and influence in

Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. However, in Western liberal democracies

China has not been very successful in reducing the fear of a security threat, nor has it been

very effective in achieving its desired policy outcomes.

From the perspective o f developing soft power resources, there are two limits

constraining Beijings ability to promote its soft power. The first limit is the gap between

the development o f an increasingly cosmopolitan and confident foreign policy and a closed

and rigid domestic political system. This gap is responsible for the imbalance between the

three pillars of soft power - cultural attractiveness, examples set by domestic values and

policies, and values expressed through the style and substance of foreign policy. This lack

of balanced soft power resources leads to Chinas second problem: the constant tension

between its multiple foreign policy objectives and its still nascent soft power resources. As

a consequence, Beijings success in building soft power hinges mainly on its ability to

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pursue its foreign policy agenda in a coherent and conciliatory manner. In advancing its

peaceful rise agenda, however, Beijing often finds itself burdened by history and distracted

by rising nationalist sentiments. As a result, the coherence and credibility of its foreign

policy are undermined.

Based on the above results of soft power assessment, what implications will soft

power bring to the rise o f China? Can we determine whether China will become a peaceful

rising power or a revisionist power? To what extent will soft power development prevent

China from pursuing a revisionist national development strategy? Can we predict how

status quo powers will respond to the rise of China? Regarding these questions, I will draw

some preliminary conclusions in the following discussions.

According to my research, China has made soft power development an important

part of its national developmental strategy by emphasizing the increase of comprehensive

national strength, which, in the words of Chinas leaders, includes economic power,

scientific and technological power, defensive power, and cultural power. Chinas 25-year

economic reform has succeeded in integrating itself into the capitalist world economy.

This reform has engineered a break in Beijings foreign policy outlook, from Maoist world

revolution diplomacy against the international system to a prevailing pragmatist paradigm

seeking to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the world economic system.

Also, as Fukuyama points out, the progression of human history as a struggle between

ideologies is largely at an end, with the world settling on liberal democracy after the end of

the Cold War (Fukuyama 1992). It can be concluded that Chinas modernization process,

unlike the former Soviet Union during the Cold War, will not engage in a global

ideological competition with the US. Although China is an unsatisfied power in the

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perspective o f seeking greater global influence and prestige, it portrays itself as a Third

World country that pursues an independent foreign policy of peace. China has always

insisted that its foreign policy decisions derive from the Five Principles of Peaceful

Coexistence, of which China is one of the inventers and most active advocates. The

Chinese governments position regarding most global disputes is to advocate peaceful

negotiations. Increasing evidence has shown that China is becoming more socialized in

dealing with other countries and more cooperative within international institutions than

ever before. Therefore, it may be concluded that China, as a rising power which endorses

the development of soft power, has not pursued a revisionist course to realize its national

interests.

However, even if China is currently pursing a peaceful and soft power-based route

to realize its fifth historical rise, the quality and quantity of revisionism in Chinas policies

are not static properties. There are still two major scenarios implied by the increasing

revisions in the Chinese governments world view and domestic preferences. The first

scenario is that there is massive social unrest in China, especially in rural areas. The 25-

year reform process, particularly Chinas recent integration into globalization, has created

many social problems including income discrepancies, social inequities, environmental

degradation, public health crises, etc. As Johnston points out, although to some extent,

social stability in the face of income and social inequities can perhaps be sustained with

relatively high rates o f absolute growth across socioeconomic groups, it is not hard to

imagine social unrest leading to political preferences that are at odds with status quo

interest in the current economic division of labor within China and between China and

other states (Johnston 2003: 5-56). In short, more fundamental revisionism may emerge

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from Chinas disillusionment with marketization and globalization if its government cannot

manage a smooth transition. Another scenario is an emerging security dilemma in which

Chinas revisionism on the Taiwan issue, the Tibet issue or any other issue involving

separatist movements may be exaggerated by hostile foreign political and military

responses, especially from the US. If this situation occurs, China will see the US or other

interfering countries as fundamentally opposed to its basic security interests - the survival

of the CCP regime as the legal government in China and the existence of China as a

sovereign country in the world. In that case, revisionism will take root in the Chinese

governments ideological and policy discourse.

Generally speaking, the more closely China integrates itself into international

economic and political mechanisms, the more necessary it will be to project itself as a

responsible rising power. However, whether China can become a responsible rising power

or not depends on both internal and external factors.

Regarding internal factors, China should pursue a comprehensive and efficient

national development strategy. For China itself, the only way to avoid the above two

scenarios is to focus on the interplay of soft and hard power. When China focuses on its

economic development and globalization, it cannot discount the demands of political

reform and democratization. According to Nye, a country that throws its weight around

without regard to the effects on its soft power may find.. .obstacles in the way of its hard

power (Nye 2004a: 25). Therefore, conditions for long-term social stability are not likely

to improve unless the CCP trusts its people to organize themselves to provide a greater

number of higher quality social services, and unless the CCP itself reforms and makes

significant changes in the way it relates to state and society (Saich 2001: 313). A more

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-240-

open political system that encourages greater citizen participation would provide an

alternative to riots and other non-sanctioned forms of political action. While China focuses

on re-defining its new place in the post-Cold War international economic and political

structure, it cannot ignore its internal issues. Compared to other powers in the current

world and other rising powers throughout history, Chinas national condition is unique - it

has a very large population, and its domestic political, economic, and cultural

developments are very unbalanced. China must continue its efforts to improve the standard

of living and educational level o f its people at a national level to sustain its current

development trend in the long term.

Regarding external factors, China needs a secure international environment and

stable international mechanisms. Since the rise of China has already become a global

phenomenon, countries worldwide are devising strategies to deal with the challenges and

opportunities presented by Chinas new status. In order to encourage China to develop and

project its national power in a peaceful and responsible way, other countries should help

China participate in international mechanisms. Major powers and Chinas neighbors in

particular should engage China and use their own abundance of soft power to encourage

Chinas willingness to begin real political reform, improve human rights, implement

responsible foreign policies, etc. The global community should work with China to

minimize the potential for global and regional instability and bilateral tension. Individual

countries in the global community must determine what policies would best help them to

deal with Chinas rise. Nye is one of the strongest advocates of an engagement policy,

which, to great extent, is based on soft power. He proclaimed: If we treat China as an

enemy now, we are guaranteeing ourselves an enemy, particularly given the fact that

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nationalism is rapidly replacing communism as the dominant ideology among the Chinese

people. No one knows for certain what Chinas future will be, but it makes no sense to

throw away the more benign possibilities at this point. Containment is likely to be

irreversible, while engagement can be reversed if China changes for the worse (Nye

1998).

In short, when status quo power is prudent, consultative and cooperative, a rising

power is less likely to be anxious about their new place in the international structure and

less inclined to pursue a revisionist national development strategy. It is in the best interest

of the rising power because then it will not be viewed as bucking the system or being a

troublemaker. When the international order is based primarily on attraction and agenda-

setting rather than coercion and threat, a rising power such as China is more willing to play

its role in international society. This behavior not only benefits Chinas national interests,

but also helps to maintain regional and global peace and development. Attraction and

agenda-setting encourage rising powers to take their international obligations seriously, and

actively participate in the formulation of international rules.

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Appendix I List of Chinese Dynasties

Chinese Dynasties Period


Prehistoric Times 1.7 million years - the 21 st century BC
Xia Dynasty 21 st - 16th century BC
Shang Dynasty 16th - 11th century BC
Zhou Dynasty Western Zhou (11th century BC - 711 BC)
Eastern Zhou
- Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC - 476 BC)
- Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC)
Qin Dynasty 221 BC - 206 BC
Han Dynasty Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD)
Eastern Han (25 - 220)
Three Kingdoms Period 2 2 0 -2 8 0
Jin Dynasty Western Jin (265 - 316)
Eastern Jin (317 - 420)
Northern and Southern Dynasties Northern Dynasties (3 8 6 -5 8 1 )
Southern Dynasties (420 - 589)
Sui Dynasty 5 8 1 -6 1 8
Tang Dynasty 6 1 8 -9 0 7
Five Dynasties and Ten States Five Dynasties
- Later Liang (907 - 923)
- Later Tang (923 - 936)
- Later Jin (936 - 946)
-L a te r Han (9 4 7 -9 5 1 )
- Later Zhou (951 - 960)
Ten States (902 - 979)
Song Dynasty Northern Song (960 - 1 27)
Southern Song (1127 - 1279)
Liao Dynasty 916-1125
Jin Dynasty 1115-1234
Yuan Dynasty 1271 - 1368
Ming Dynasty 1368- 1644
Qing Dynasty 1644- 1911
Republic of China 1911-1949
Peoples Republic of China 1949 - present

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Appendix II Chinas Projected Images and American Perception200

1.0
*

I3

OS
g 0.0"
CA
OS
GA
OS G o v ern m en t W o rk
* - .5 " R e p o rts

u P eking Review

- 1.0 Survey Q uestions


1954 1960 1966 1972 1978 1984 1990 1996 2002
1957 1963 1969 1975 1981 1987 1993 1999
Y ear
C h i n a a s a s o c ia lis t c o u n tr y w a s c o d e d as:
I = p ositive, 0 = neutral, -1 = negative

1.0

s
9
u .5
61!
e
o.
e
"33 /

<to 00
st
an
A G o v ern m en t W o rk
M e
e -5 R e p o rts
43
u
- 1.0 Survey Questions
1954 1960 1966 1972 1978 1984 1990 1996 2002
1957 1963 1969 1975 1981 1987 1993 1999
Y ear
China as a d evelop in g country w as cod ed as:
1 = p ositive, 0 = neutral, - I = negative

200 Source: Hongying Wang, National Image Building and Chinese Foreign Policy,
China: An International Journal, 1.1, 46-72

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-244-

1.0 n

G o v e rn m e n t W ork
R e p o rts

P eking Review

- 1.0 S u rv e y Q uestions
1954 1960 1966 1972 1978 1984 1990 1996 2002
1957 1963 1969 1975 1981 1987 1993 1999
Y ear
C h in a a s a m a jo r p o w e r w a s c o d e d as:

1 = p o s itiv e , 0 - n e u tr a l, -1 = n e g a tiv e

1.0 n

G o v ern m en t W o rk
R eports

P eking Review

- 1.0 Survey Questions


1954 I960 1966 1972 1978 1984 1990 1996 2002
1957 1963 1969 1975 1981 1987 1993 1999
Y ear
C h i n a a s a n a n ti- h e g e m o n ic f o r c e w a s c o d e d as:
1 = p o s itiv e , 0 = n e u tr a l, -1 ~ n e g a tiv e

l.O - i

0.0
S
1 G o v ern m en t W ork

I "-5 R ep o rts

P ek in g Review

8 -i.o S urvey Q uestions


1954 1960 1966 1972 1978 1984 1990 1996 2002
1957 1963 1969 1975 1981 1987 1993 1999
Y ear
C h in a a s a v ic tim o f f o re ig n a g g r e s s io n w a s c o d e d as:
1 = p o s itiv e , 0 = n e u tr a l, -1 = n e g a tiv e

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-245-

i.o i

C3

09
G o v e rn m e n t W o rk
09 -.5 1 R e p o rts
93
C
IS
u
- 1.0 S u rv ey Q uestions
1954 1960 1966 1972 1978 1984 1990 1996 2002
1957 1963 1969 1975 1981 1987 1993 1999
Y ear
C h i n a a s a p e a c e - lo v in g c o u n tr y w a s c o d e d as:
1 p o s itiv e , 0 n e u tr a l, -1 = n e g a tiv e

1 .0 1

a
1
I G o v ern m en t W o rk
is -.5 R e p o rts

M P e k in g Review
u
S urvey Q uestions
1954 1960 1966 1972 1978 1984 1990 1996 2002
1957 1963 1969 1975 1981 1987 1993 1999
Y ear
C h i n a a s a n in te r n a tio n a l c o o p e r a to r w a s c o d e d a s :
1 = p o s itiv e , 0 = n e u tr a l, -1 = n e g a tiv e

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VITA

Sheng Ding

1975 Bom January 3 in Yangzhou, China.

1993 Graduated from the High School of Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China.

1993-97 Undergraduate work in the University of International Relations, Beijing,


China.

1997 B.A. in Law, University of International Relations.

2000-01 Graduate work in Department of Political Science, Rutgers University,


Newark, New Jersey.

2001 M.A. in political science

2001-06 Graduate work in Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University, Newark,


New Jersey.

2001-02 University Fellowship, Rutgers University.

2002-05 Teaching Assistantship, Division of Global Affairs.

2005-06 Graduate Dissertation Fellowship, Graduate School, Rutgers University,


Newark, New Jersey.

2006 Article: Sheng Ding and Robert A. Saunders, Talking Up China: An


Analysis of Cultural Power and the Global Popularization of the Chinese
Language East Asia: An International Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 2.

2006 Article: Robert A. Saunders and Sheng Ding, Digital Diasporas, National
Identity & Global Capitalism: Comparing the Overseas Chinese and Near
Abroad Russian Web Communities Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Vol. 12,
No. 2.

2006 Ph.D. in global affairs.

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