CHINA / National

China increasingly attractive to others
Updated: 2006-08-08 06:20

China has been increasingly attractive to other countries in recent years and the idea of China's peaceful rise is impressive, a famous U.S. scholar told Xinhua in an interview.

Joseph Nye. [file]
In other words, "China's soft power has been increasing in recent years, " said Joseph Nye, the creator of the political notion of "soft power" and a leading professor for international relations at Harvard University.

In his theory, "soft power is the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion."

"I think it is a wise policy for China to increase its soft power. For example, the recent poll taken by the BBC has shown that a number of countries that are saying they are finding China more attractive, " said Nye.

"China's successful economy makes it attractive, and Chinese culture, traditional culture, is attractive. And China has pursued a series of policies which have been attractive to other countries, particularly in Southeast Asia," he added.

Nye also said the fact that a lot of people are learning the Chinese language around the world, "helps to expand China's soft power."

The scholar said he don't think most Americans will consider China's increasing "soft power" as a threat, "because it is possible for Chinese soft power and American soft power both to increase. They don't necessarily have to oppose each other."

"Within the U.S. government, I think there is awareness that China's soft power has been increasing. I think some people may worry about this and others do not. It is a mixed response, " he said.

Nye noted that although some people in the U.S. government are worried about the future of Chinese power and how it will be exercised, "the idea of peaceful rise of Chinese power is also impressive."

"I think that a number of American officials believe that China can have peaceful rise, and the idea of peaceful rise helps to make a more positive impression of China and that helps Chinese soft power, " he said.

"China has been doing a good job of this. By emphasizing Chinese culture and policies which are peaceful that China has a reassuring affect on Americans as well as on other countries," said Nye.

In contrast, "I think the U.S. is paying too much attention to its hard power, as you see in the case of Iraq. It is not paying enough attention to its soft power. It's important to pay attention to both," he added.

Recalling his visit to Shanghai in May, the scholar said he "was very positively impressed that China has made very good progress."

"I think China has been improving its soft power, its ability to attract others."

On future trends of China- U.S. relations, Nye said he is optimistic.

"I think they have more to gain by cooperation and avoiding conflict," he said.


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