China’s Soft Power in Europe: Falling on Hard Times

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Posted Apr 25, 2021 | European Think-tank Network on China, Ties Dams, Xiaoxue Martin, Vera Kranenburg

The European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC) has identified three Chinese approaches to developing soft power in Europe: promoting Chinese language and culture; shaping China’s image through the media; and using the secondary soft-power effects of economic prowess. Ties Dams, Xiaoxue Martin and Vera Kranenburg suggest in this ETNC report that over the last decade, interest in China has slowly increased and a positive predisposition towards Chinese culture has been recorded, but negative attitudes towards China-related political issues have gained traction. Culture, education, and research exchange are interpreted in many countries in a more politicized manner. Drawing on perceptions in EU countries, the authors note that China’s economic attractiveness is an important factor in what is left of China’s broader appeal.


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