Nach einer langen Phase des Wirtschaftswachstums und militärischer Aufrüstung entdeckt China die „Soft Power“ für sich.
Over the past decade, China’s economic and military might has grown impressively, and this has frightened its neighbors into looking for allies to balance rising Chinese hard power. But if a country can also increase its soft power, its neighbors feel less need to seek balancing alliances.
Die Olympischen Spiele in 2008 und die Expo in Shanghai in 2010 sind nur zwei Beispiele, wie China die politische Macht von Kultur, Sprache und Bildung verstärkt nutzt.
China has always had an attractive traditional culture, and now it has created several hundred Confucius Institutes around the world to teach its language and culture. The enrollment of foreign students in China has increased from 36,000 a decade ago to at least 240,000 in 2010, and while the Voice of America was cutting its Chinese broadcasts, China Radio International was increasing its broadcasts in English to 24 hours a day.
Dennoch ist China weit entfernt vom Status einer echten „Soft Power“.
A poll taken in Asia after the Beijing Olympics found that China’s charm offensive had been ineffective. What China seems not to appreciate is that using culture and narrative to create soft power is not easy when they are inconsistent with domestic realities. The 2008 Olympics were a success, but shortly afterwards, China’s domestic crackdown in Tibet and Xianjiang, and on human rights activists, undercut its soft power gains.
Zunächst braucht China Reformen im Inneren. Danach sieht es jedoch momentan nicht aus.
The development of soft power need not be a zero sum game. All countries can gain from finding attraction in one anothers’ cultures. But for China to succeed, it will need to unleash the talents of its civil society. Unfortunately, that does not seem about to happen soon.