Beijing's maritime diplomacy blends the traditional elements of national power -- diplomacy, economics, military force -- in sophisticated fashion. It also makes use of "soft power." Harvard University's Joseph Nye, who coined the term, declares that a country rich in soft power boasts cultural attributes that make its society attractive to foreign peoples -- augmenting the routine tools of foreign policy.Sounds like simple Bush-bashing to me. And, no I'm not shocked that "Chinese leaders agree." The topper in this heap of baloney is "This, say Chinese spokesmen, makes a welcome contrast with Western imperialism: China makes a more trustworthy steward of Asian maritime security than any non-Asian power." If you believe that, I've got some nice ocean front property in New Mexico...
For Nye, such manifestations of culture as movies, clothing and popular music play a role in international affairs, creating an atmosphere of international goodwill -- an affinity between peoples that a country's leaders can use to rally support for their foreign-policy initiatives. Nye worries that the administration of US President George W. Bush squandered US soft power in Iraq, but he assures us that China, traditionally Asia's central power, possesses abundant reserves of it. Chinese leaders agree.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
An opinion here as to why China's "soft power" mojo is better than President Bush's: