Wednesday, June 18, 2008

China lacks "soft power"

The other day i received this interesting report which is definitely worth checking out if you are interested in Asia in general and China in particular:

"New Report Reveals China Lags Behind U.S. in Using Non-Military “Soft Power” to Gain Influence in Asia
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the East Asia Institute (EAI) released a major new report, Soft Power in Asia 2008. The report provides an eye-opening look at how China, just months before it is set to take the world’s center stage during the 2008 Summer Olympics, still ranks below the United States as a multifaceted power in the opinion of its Asian neighbors.
The report, which is based on public opinion survey in five East and Southeast Asian countries and the United States, reveals that perceptions of China’s soft power -- the ability to wield influence by indirect, non-military means -- generally trail those of the United States and Japan. These perceptions persist despite China’s strong economic relationships in Asia, and around the world, and its consistent and concerted efforts to leverage the Olympic Games to bolster its public image.

The Chicago Council and EAI conducted more than 6,000 interviews in China, Vietnam, South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States in January and February 2008 before the unrest in Tibet and the Sichuan earthquake. The survey asked between forty and sixty questions in order to gauge how citizens of these five Asian nations and the United States view each country’s popular culture, commercial prowess and brands, intellectual influence and appeal, universities, diplomatic reputations, different political systems, and more.

The full report of survey findings can be downloaded online at