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Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power Is Transforming the World

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  14 reviews
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, China is poised to become a major global power. And though much has been written of China’s rise, a crucial aspect of this transformation has gone largely unnoticed: the way that China is using soft power to appeal to its neighbors and to distant countries alike.
This book is the first to examine the significance of China’s rece
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 28th 2007 by Yale University Press (first published April 1st 2007)
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Sep 02, 2007 rated it did not like it
Kurlantzick has taken what should be a fairly interesting topic---China's purportedly increased "soft power" around the world---and made it simply a laundry list of places where the PRC did something or another popular, contrasted against the obvious fact that America is unpopular just about anywhere but Albania and, perhaps, Poland.

So what? Well, it is menacing, says the author. Why? Because China is alleged to WANT to see its model of authoritarianism replicated abroad. There is no real proof
Jul 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: asia, foreign-policy
Useful, thoughtful discussion of an important development in world affairs. JK looks from a number of directions at how China's low-key realism and self-interest is increasing its influence in key parts of the developing world, while Washington's combination of finger-pointing and idealism has weakened American clout.

Reads, as another reviewer pointed out, like a long Kurlantzick magazine article; more vibrant journalistic color might have livened the story up a bit, but it's worth having a loo
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book brought something back to my mind that I haven considered as a formal concept since 2006: Soft Power. In the context of the GWOT, attempting to use US soft power has been laughable. Trying to say that exporting McDonald’s or putting money to middle eastern countries hoping their populations would support US objectives was completely wrong. What we got instead were fighters with western haircuts and shorts in English shooting at our forces and throwing rocks.

Now, regarding great power c
May 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
A good analysis (as of 2007) on China's soft influence on the developing world. The author goes into deep detail on China's economic, financial, business, diplomatic, and cultural power. He also discusses how China exploited the gaps in world power and opinion created by US cuts to diplomatic diplomacy, foreign policy missteps, domestic issues, and isolationism. I found his final chapters on the implications of Chinese foreign strategy for the US, as well as Chinese weaknesses and how the US can ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Worthwhile read.
Eye-opening look at China's role in shaping global relations over the past decade. Using the theme of soft power - a nation's ability to shape other nation's preferences or branding your influence on another country in relation to popular and elite culture, public diplomacy, value, ideals and norms. - Kurlantizick argues that China has dramtically increased its strength globally while the United States has seen its soft power diminish.

My thought as I was reading the book is that I hope American
May 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Thanks Natalie:
A good book, and although it took me a while to finish it, I found it quite interesting. I do think however that the author could have explored the theme of how the US could combat China's growing soft influence; seems to me that he skimmed this subject and he could have developed this theme a bit more. In the end he seem to back off from his overall theme in that he states that China still has a long way to go.
Overall however a good read especially if you are interested in poly s
Natalie  wolfe
Apr 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Well this book has been really interesting so far. it is very scary how a nation with so many internal problems and a history of human rights violations to its own people can not only appear to the public as successful and trustworthy but also cary so much weight and influence in the world wide scope of things. so far i would recommend it but, we shall see.

Nov 26, 2007 rated it it was ok
The problem with this book for a bureaucrat like yours truly is that it summarizes the outputs of Chinese soft power but gives me no sense of how China builds its diplomatic corps and the ties of that group to activities like its Chinese teaching efforts. That's what I went in hoping to find ... uh, not that I do this for a living or anything. ...more
Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book definately puts people on the right track as to what is actuall happening in the world, and allows us to see the truth which is: China is worse than the U.S., please let Americans see the value and urgency of weighing the scale accurately!
Feb 21, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only good thing I got out of this book was that Kurlantcick introduces some important ideas. If he had then discussed these ideas more deeply, it could have been a good book. Instead, it feels more like a Cold War panic tale.
Aug 13, 2007 rated it liked it
So far, it's like reading a long Kurlantzick article. ...more
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
I didnt like the writing. it was eye-opening in terms on how politics happens
Jan 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
American's soft power deficit vs China's new tool of soft power may push countries to choose between the two.

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