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Washington Report, 2008-07

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Publication Date: July 2008

Publisher(s): East-West Center; U.S. Asia Pacific Council

Author(s): U.S. Asia Pacific Council

Topic: International relations (International relations)

Type: Newsletter

Coverage: China


With China's emergence as a global economic power, American lawmakers have become concerned about the extent to which it is expanding its influence in Asia and elsewhere through the use of "soft power." Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden (D., Delaware) last year commissioned a special study from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to examine how China's soft power may affect U.S. interests. Hearings also have been held on China's soft power initiatives in Africa and Latin America. As Dr. Marshall Bouton of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs discusses, public opinion surveys indicate that China's rise as a great power does not necessarily translate into soft power influence. The Council's groundbreaking report--Soft Power in East Asia--found that most Asians ranked China well below the United States in terms of its ability to wield influence by indirect, nonmilitary means.