Who's Afraid of China?: The Challenge of Chinese Soft Power by Michael Barr

By Michael Barr

What position does China play within the Western mind's eye? the increase of China as a substitute version to Western liberalism has created an apprehension that constructing international locations will stray from Western criteria of democracy, transparency, and human rights. in spite of the fact that, such fears frequently say as a lot approximately those that carry them as they do approximately China itself. Who's scared of China? holds a replicate to Sino-Western family with a purpose to greater know how the West's personal previous, hopes, and fears form how it thinks approximately and engages with China. concentrating on 3 key parts -- versions of improvement, smooth energy, and ethnocentrism -- this provocative new booklet argues that the increase of China touches a nerve within the Western psyche and provides a primary problem to rules approximately modernity, background, and foreign relations.

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A 2006 editorial in the English edition of the People’s Daily reads:  who’s afraid of china? Just as experts have said, [despite China’s being] a cultural fountainhead with more than 5,000 years of civilization, we only export television sets and don’t export content to be televised. 11 Yet, in spite of Beijing’s slowness in realizing the importance of soft power, its reception within China has been met with considerable enthusiasm. There is hardly a week when news stories or new books do not discuss the topic.

Bai Yansong offers his personal reflections on reactions to China’s rapid development. Bai is well known in China as a popular newsman for China Central Television (CCTV), a state-run network. He notes that Chinese journalists routinely have had to respond to questions about the ‘China threat’ thesis – much like the Sinopec guest on the BBC interview which spawned the idea for this book. Bai writes that ‘many of us would try to relieve foreign suspicions (of a China threat) by answering that ‘the sleeping lion in the East is waking, but it certainly won’t bite because we believe in a peaceful rise’.

It is a game that the government, keen on promoting film as soft power, has no choice but to play since Chinese film is inevitably a global enterprise. The success of many works blurs the boundary between mainland Chinese cinema and a more international-based ‘Chinese language cinema’. 36 For example, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a major martial arts hit, was directed by a Taiwanese (Ang Lee) but included a cast of mainland Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwanese actors and actresses and was co-produced by an array of Chinese, American, Hong Kong and Taiwanese film companies.

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