HKS Authors

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Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus


I was asked to lecture at Beijing University on soft power, the ability to use attraction and persuasion to get what you want without force or payment. This was before the series of revolutions roiling the Middle East, in whose aftermath China is clamping down on the Internet and jailing human rights lawyers, once again torpedoing its soft-power campaign. The auditorium that day was packed, and I had been told that more than a thousand articles have been published in China on this topic. That may have something to do with the fact that in 2007, President Hu Jintao told the 17th Congress of the Communist Party that China needed to increase its soft power.


Nye, Jr., Joseph S. "China's Repression Undoes Its Charm Offensive." Washington Post, March 27, 2011.