HKS Authors

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Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus


China’s president, Hu Jintao, greeted 2012 with an important essay warning that China was being battered by Western culture: “We must clearly see that international hostile forces are intensifying the strategic plot of Westernizing and dividing China, and ideological and cultural fields are the focal areas of their long-term infiltration,” he wrote, adding that “the international culture of the West is strong while we are weak.” Essentially, Hu was saying that China was under assault by Western soft power — the ability to produce outcomes through persuasion and attraction rather than coercion or payment — and needed to fight back.


Nye, Jr., Joseph S. "Why China Is Weak on Soft Power." New York Times, January 17, 2012.