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China's Soft Diplomacy in an Emerging Multi-polar World Keynote presentation for the conference"The Growing Prominence of China on the World Stage: Exploring.

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Presentation on theme: "China's Soft Diplomacy in an Emerging Multi-polar World Keynote presentation for the conference"The Growing Prominence of China on the World Stage: Exploring."— Presentation transcript:

1 China's Soft Diplomacy in an Emerging Multi-polar World Keynote presentation for the conference"The Growing Prominence of China on the World Stage: Exploring the Political, Economic, and Cultural Relations of China and Global Stakeholders" International Conference, Berlin, September 15th - 18th, Held Parallel to the "Berlin - Asia Pacific Weeks Conference 2011 Johannes Dragsbaek Schmidt Associate Professor, Research Center on Development and International Relations, Aalborg University AAU, Fibigerstraede 2, 9220 Aalborg East, Denmark. Tel , Fax

2 New map of the world?

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5 A Multi-polar world US unsustainable debt burden and political paralysis – strategic decision-making held hostage to ideological polarization – Pentagon the biggest security threat: ”The crisis and budget deficit” EU single currency threatened by sovereign debt and political discord – European integration project in dismay Result: Relative decline of Western hegemony or a new Great Depression and the resurgence of nationalism and protectionism! Or a new peaceful transition to a multi-polar world!

6 Strong Economy – Basis of Soft Power It seems clear that the Chinese leadership attempts to increase its ability to attract and persuade the world community, regional groups and individual states to comply with its interests by utilizing among other foreign policy and security instruments – soft power

7 Components of Chinese Security Strategy Leverage Rhetoric on Cooperation/Noninterference Pragmatic Born-again multilateralist - relative Focus on countries where US bilateral relationship is faltering; outreach to developing nations China as a model for developing nations

8 China’s Strategic Thought Jiang Zemin –Multi-polar world –Economic globalization –Globalist –Hu Jintao –Peaceful Rise –Harmonius World –Economic Nationalism –Confucianism

9 Soft Power Soft power is the ability to shape what others want through attraction, not through coercion Soft power arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals, and policies and the mastery of institutions and information technologies to disseminate persuasive information is linked to soft power. Hard power remains crucial in a world of states trying to guard their independence and of non- state groups willing to turn to violence (Joseph Nye)

10 China’s Perception Soft power requires the projection of an attractive and friendly image: –A champion for the developing world in international organizations –A model for the developing world (Beijing consensus vs. Washington consensus) –As a central actor in a multi-polar world –As an ancient and vigorous civilization - Confucianism

11 How China’s Soft Power Strategy Emerges -Domestic changes in China lead to pressure for a more proactive foreign policy -Chinese leadership more engaged with the world -Failure of more aggressive mid-1990s policies -Impact of Asian financial crisis and beginning of American soft power decline -China is using 'soft power' remedies and hard cash to nurture 'alliances with developing countries to solidify its position in the World Trade Organization, flex its muscles on the world stage and act as a counterbalance to US power'

12 Means for the projection of China's soft power Visits of Chinese authorities and international events –Very active agenda (Olympics etc) State media –Service in six languages (Global media) Active cultural and education diplomacy –Scholarships for studying in China –Confucius Institute (150 around the globe) –Target of raising number of foreigners studying Mandarin around the world to 100 million (30 million people worldwide today)

13 Chinese Tools of Influence More sophisticated development assistance Better public diplomacy –media, informal summitry, visitor programming, Chinese Peace Corps More skilled formal diplomacy Outreach to and use of ethnic Chinese Promotion of Chinese language and culture studies Promotion of China’s future potential for outward investment Leveraging FTAs Outmigration UN+ UNSC – Peace keeping SCO and G20 ……. G2

14 Strong points of China's soft power Coherent rhetoric Traditional culture: inventions, philosophy, fine arts, martial arts Language: 100 million students of Mandarin in 2010 Chinese diaspora Economic success

15 Weak points of China's soft power Authoritarian regime – high domestic legitimacy – low external legitimacy Corruption and human rights Uncertainty about sustainability of economic and social model Loose business ethics: quality standards Limited circulation of China's culture (music, arts etc) Notion about Confucian influence not clear

16 Impact and some conclusions Positive: China becomes regional leader by mediating disputes Positive: China takes lead on nontraditional transnational issues Positive: China prods regional free trade Negative: China exporting its labor and environmental practices Negative: Chinese aid undermining tying of aid to better governance, and US influence on authoritarian nations: Weakens US promotion of democratization and good governance Negative: China could eventually use influence to push back at American relationships in SE Asia Negative: Potential structures in the region exclude US All in all a change in US policy towards China from a friendly competitor to a strategic rival

17 China has shown a definite readiness to use its growing soft power, notably economic leverage and national image and the benefits that accrue from non-material, ideational and cultural influences as a persuasive means to translate its influence into concrete policy interests Beijing's security concept can also be interpreted as aiming at undermining US influence and loosen its alliances The figures imply that there is a clear strategic link between trade, FDI, ODA, military support and a specific focus on export of cultural values (FDI $220bn in 2010) Soft power will also have important spill-over effects on future trade and investment patterns – striking cut-price deals – playing off states against each other and against their own collective interest


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