Skip to content Skip to navigation

“Soft Power” with Chinese Characteristics Is Changing the World

December 12, 2009

He Qinglian

Ever since it took power, it has been the dream of the Communist Party of China (CPC) for China to become a superpower, capable of influencing the whole world. It has not hesitated in depriving its people of their well-being in order to achieve the goal of creating a “rich country with a strong military.” In recent years, the Chinese government has begun to realize that in addition to the “hard power” of “military equipment,” it must also use “soft power” to influence the world. The first government scholar to put forth this view was Zheng Bijian (郑必坚), in his essay “China’s Peaceful Rise to Great-Power Status,” published in Foreign Affairs in 2005.1 After the China Daily website published this article’s standpoint in detail under the headline, “The New Path of China’s Peaceful Rise and U.S.-China Relations,”2 this has been a hot topic of discussion in China for several years running.

1. How China understands and exercises “soft power.”

In international relations, “soft power” refers to a third aspect of power a nation possesses, in addition to its economy and military, that consists primarily of the power of influence of its culture, values, ideology, popular opinion, etc. The concept was first advanced by Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a Harvard University professor and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, and the term has now become a fashionable phrase in the language of international politics.3

China, while using Shenzhou 5, Shenzhou 7,4 and the modernization of its military force, as well as its GDP, to demonstrate its “hard power,” has also absorbed the concept of “soft power” and designed a whole set of “soft power diplomacy” strategies on the basis of its own understanding of the concept. This “soft power diplomacy,” designed by an utterly unprincipled government that operates opportunistically, is marked by quite a number of “Chinese characteristics” indeed.

China’s soft power penetration serves its diplomatic objectives. China’s diplomacy can be divided into three levels: great power diplomacy (with the U.S. at the core), border diplomacy, and resource diplomacy. Based on different diplomatic requirements, China’s “soft power” penetration falls into three different categories: economic aid, economic cooperation, and cultural penetration. Take for example China’s diplomacy toward the Asian countries on its borders. First, China established firm political and economic relations with Southeast Asian nations through increased foreign aid; it then developed a comprehensive cooperation framework through plans such as free trade agreements that have allowed ASEAN countries to become China’s interest partners; and, finally, through semi-official projects, it enhanced China’s cultural appeal as well as advanced the pro- China stance of ASEAN countries.

This kind of “soft power diplomacy” is not only embodied in China’s Asian strategy,5 but also extended globally. Foreign aid and comprehensive, mutually-penetrating economic relations are the core of China’s “soft power” resources—this, unlike the “soft power” recognized by the international community, is actually the “hard power” of economic strength being peddled by China as “soft power”; and it is, under the promise of “incentives,” Chinese Communist cultural values and ideas cloaked in “Confucius Institutes,”6 aimed at getting the world to accept a “Chinese culture” whose flavor has long ago gone bad. The annual Frankfurt Book Fair, furthermore, is a good opportunity for China to export Chinese Communist culture in soft wrapping to the whole world.7

2. “Purchase order diplomacy” makes Europe waver between human rights and economic interests.

The Chinese government’s diplomatic dealings with the European Union in recent years have frequently been heavily dependent on its multi-billion dollar “great multinational purchases.” This diplomatic tactic, which originated at the end of the 20th century, is commonly referred to in both foreign media and China itself as “purchase order diplomacy.”8 I will sum up its genesis below.

Since the mid-1990s, China has been drawing the line in its foreign policy at whether or not a nation criticizes the human rights situation in China: those who criticize it are “anti-China, anti-Communist forces,” and the methods of punishing them, besides verbal and written denunciations in the media, include allowing patriotic “angry youth” to take to the streets and heave a few bricks through the windows of sales outlets run by these “enemies” of China to demonstrate Chinese “prowess.” The method of bestowing favors on friends has been to place large purchase orders with governments of wealthy nations and grant economic aid to the governments of poor ones. It should be said that China’s strategy in this regard has been greatly successful. Prior to 2007, with the exception of the U.S., all Western nations had adopted a policy of appeasement on human rights issues. Having refined its diplomacy through over two decades of experience, the Chinese government has become very good at using economic interests to guide and mold the China policy of the countries in the EU; the constantly changing China policy of France and Germany, the EU axis nations, is a very good example.

Under its former chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, the German government pursued an extreme pro-China policy. In April and May 2004, I gave four lectures, in Cologne, Berlin, and Hamburg, during a short visit to Germany. After hearing one of my lectures, some Chinese told me that a lecture as critical of the Chinese government as mine would not have been tolerated by German society six months earlier. At that time, the Schröder government was very “pro-China,” and some well-known sinologists had come right out in a television program and publicly issued a warning to the Ger- man government and people: if you want to do business with China you better not criticize China’s political system and corruption, or its human rights situation.

Angela Merkel, who succeeded Schröder, modified the German government’s China policy, committing to “Value Diplomacy” and a “New Asia Strategy.” On a visit to China in 2007, she expressed concern about China’s human rights situation and raised criticism. Although this won her praise from the German public and from international human rights organizations, she was unable to get a single purchase order from China during her visit. And China responded to Merkel’s meeting with the Dalai Lama in September of that year by cancelling the breakfast meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries that was to take place when both attended the UN General Assembly meeting, as well as the scheduled December visit to China by the German finance minister, and freezing the regularly scheduled annual trade talks and strategic dialogue on human rights issues between the deputy foreign ministers of the two countries. Preparations for “China and Germany—Moving ahead Together” [a series of events in various Chinese cities aimed at introducing Germany to the Chinese people], scheduled to launch in 2007 and to last for a three-year period, were also brought to a halt.9

The method of bestowing favors on friends has been to place large purchase orders with governments of wealthy nations and grant economic aid to the governments of poor ones.

The ability of Chancellor Merkel to act in this way did not rest entirely on her own predilection for values and her having lived in East Germany; it was also due to the fact that Germany began to reconsider its China policy after she came to office. This reconsideration was made possible by the disclosures by some small- and midsized German enterprises that their investments in China had failed, the withdrawal of the Siemens conglomerate from China, and news of bribery scandals in China, all of which happened at this time.

France has a reputation as being the “motherland of human rights,” but has long been guided by economic interests, having abandoned its concern for and critique of the human rights situation in China.

The Chirac government [May 1995–May 2007] pursued a China policy that was “heavy on trade, light on human rights,” and was thus regularly able to solicit large Chinese purchase orders for Airbus and other big enterprises. Overjoyed, in April of 2007, the French government went so far as to bestow France’s highest honor, the Legion d’Honneur, on Long Xinmin (龙新民), director of China’s General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), the same Long Xinmin whom the government-controlled media in China have called a “hardliner.” The French government’s action was tantamount to conferring political legitimacy upon the Chinese government’s control of the media. This not only enraged Chinese intellectuals who have suffered bitterly from the government’s control of public opinion, but was also criticized by some French media.10 But the French government’s move brought substantial gains to the business community. In order to punish Germany, the Chinese government adopted a “carrot and stick” policy toward France and Germany: while Merkel got the cold shoulder, French president Nicolas Sarkozy was in China basking in the “warm winter sun,” garnering the largest purchase order in the history of civilian use of nuclear power in the world (ten billion euros; $14.9 billion) and selling 160 Airbuses to boot.11

France has a reputation as being the “motherland of human rights,” but has long been guided by economic interests, having abandoned its concern for and critique of the human rights situation in China.

But good times don’t last and the honeymoon between the Chinese government and the Sarkozy government quickly came to an end. In March 2008, as the Olympic torch relay was passing through Paris, people from all walks of life in France mounted a huge protest, and Sarkozy subsequently decided to meet with the Dalai Lama in December. Given the situation, the Chinese authorities finally decided to punish France, whereupon a “hate France and boycott French goods campaign” swept through China.

Some people pointed out that those who believe that “it wasn’t worth falling out with China over a Dalai Lama” were precisely those who once said that “a Solzhenitsyn wasn’t worth a confrontation with the Soviet Union.”

The French felt deeply wronged: the Beijing authorities had muffled their displeasure when U.S. President George W. Bush, U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met the Dalai Lama, so why did China find the French leader’s meeting with him so hard to tolerate? Had France become, in Beijing’s eyes, “the West’s weak link”? The French media, while criticizing the Beijing government as rude and unreasonable, also assailed Paris’ handling of the Tibet issue, and noted that during his presidential run, Sarkozy had criticized former president Jacques Chirac’s China policy as “heavy on trade and light on human rights,” yet in the end he himself followed Chirac’s lead, and had not only broken faith with the people at home, but had caused France an enormous loss of reputation on the international stage.

Some people pointed out that those who believe that “it wasn’t worth falling out with China over a Dalai Lama” were precisely those who once said that “a Solzhenitsyn wasn’t worth a confrontation with the Soviet Union.” France should have stopped kissing up to China long ago.12

The Chinese government’s revenge didn’t stop there. During Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Europe in February and March of 2009, he made a point of not visiting France, but placed huge purchase orders in Germany worth in excess of $10 billion. Germany’s minister of economics at the time, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, called it “a great moment” in German-Chinese relations. Moreover, the news was reported by the always strongly pro-China Chinese-language section of the Deutsche Welle, the German international broadcaster, under the headline “Berlin welcomes Chinese purchasing delegation, new friends see the glow of faith.”13

European China policy vacillates over choice between economic interests and human rights issues. On the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, French Foreign Minister Bernard Koucher had no choice but to admit that “there exists a permanent contradiction between human rights and a nation’s—including France’s—foreign policy.”14 China not only makes use of “purchase order diplomacy” to manipulate and modify such unprincipled European foreign policy that is subordinate to economic interests, but also derides the “hypocrisy of human rights diplomacy.” After many countries in Europe and the Americas experienced the financial crisis in 2008 and their economies contracted, China saw “purchase order diplomacy” as the way to rescue the European economy, believing that it should turn the “purchase order diplomacy” into a kind of active, offensive tool of economic diplomacy to win over more allies. Similar purchase order diplomatic strategies could be deployed with other nations and regions, such as Brazil, Australia, the Middle East, Russia, Central Asia, etc.15

3. The increasingly significant “China factor” in American politics

Compared to European nations, the U.S. choice between economic interests and human rights is neither as wavering as that of France and Germany, nor as clear as that of Britain, which has placed economic interests above all else from the start. If we say that one huge purchase order can change the EU’s approach to China, then the attitude of U.S. political circles toward China is, comparatively speaking, complex and longstanding, and a large volume of purchase orders cannot fundamentally change it. For example, on September 8, 2009, during Wu Bangguo’s (吴邦国) visit to the U.S., China presented the U.S. with a $12.4 billion trade agreement.16 Two days later, the U.S. slapped tariffs on Chinese steel pipes and tires.17 This outcome plunged the patriotic angry youth in China into deep gloom, and an essay titled “Ten billion U.S. dollars worth of purchase orders buy U.S. sanctions; purchase order diplomacy is truly a disgrace for our people,” spread like wildfire over Chinese websites.18

China not only makes use of “purchase order diplomacy” to manipulate and modify such unprincipled European foreign policy that is subordinate to economic interests, but also derides the “hypocrisy of human rights diplomacy.”

Compared to the EU, the channels by which China influences U.S.-China policy are much more complex. Up until the 2009 China visit of the Obama government’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who made it clear that the U.S. would not allow human rights issues to affect economic relations between the two nations, the U.S. had maintained its criticism of and concern for the human rights situation in China. As for China seeking to influence U.S. policy decisions through highlevel U.S. officials and business people, the U.S. has kept up its vigilance on this point. In late April 2009, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission held a hearing targeting mainly China’s use of foreign dignitaries and the media to advance its propaganda strategies.19 But all precaution to the contrary, what is undeniable is that the “China factor” has already become a major element of U.S. politics at this juncture. U.S. political circles and their think-tanks have divided into factions—the so-called Blue Team and Red Team—due to their differing stances on China.

To draw a broad distinction, the Blue Team holds that China’s actions in international affairs have been a serious threat to American interests, and its main points are China’s ideological and human rights problems; and the Red Team follows its own wishful thinking in its firm belief that China’s abrupt rise will be a stabilizing force in East Asia and the world, and its main point is the enormous economic stake China has in a stable world.

Following the shift in the center of gravity in Sino-U.S. economic and trade relations, and the emergence of a new generation of U.S. politicians, the members of the Red Team and the Blue Team are no longer divided along party lines, but rather by the interests of their electoral districts. In recent years, the most important “discovery” by Chinese authorities was that those members of Congress whose attitudes were hardening because of damage to the interests of their electoral districts were not, after all, the old-school “anti-China faction” members who had previously hated Chinese Communist ideology—and that therefore all sorts of “appropriate” tactics could be employed to soften their positions, such as strengthening economic cooperation with companies in their electoral districts, for instance.20

In fact, in China, a country which practices media and thought control, it is simply impossible for someone who has never lived in a totalitarian state to recognize the truth based on a ten-day junket.

The following are the chief ways China influences the U.S. by towing the profit line:

1. Launch lobbying efforts through various channels.21 During the Mao Zedong era, Chinese authorities understood U.S. politics according to the political logic of totalitarian states and were eager to carry out diplomacy at the level of heads-of-state. They thought the U.S. was also a “one man show” and the top leader could have the final say. In this respect, Deng Xiaoping slavishly followed the precedent. Not until the turn of this century did the Chinese government begin to realize that U.S. politics were not entirely dominated by the “leadership core” at the White House, but that the 535 members of Congress on Capitol Hill could, whenever they wished, “create trouble,” big or small, for the White House and for all manner of foreign governments, corporations, and community organizations. Thus, lobbying Congress is a method essential to realizing China’s national interest. At present there are some two dozen public relations companies and law firms advising China. Two law firms—Patton Boggs and Jones Day—have been hired directly by the Chinese embassy in the U.S. Jones Day’s main job is to brief China on the issues of Taiwan, Tibet, religious freedom, trade, and exchange rates, and to act as liaison with the U.S. Congress and the executive branch.22

2. Invite members of Congress on cursory exchange junkets to China. Beginning in 2004, China’s National People’s Congress and the U.S. Senate established a formal exchange mechanism. According to a memorandum signed by both parties, they agreed to exchange visits once every two years and establish a fixed meeting mechanism between them, whereby each country sends 12 senior members annually to take part in meetings to take place alternating in Washington and Beijing. At present, three China-related “China Congressional groups” have already been established within the U.S. Congress, of which the bipartisan “U.S.-China Working Group” is the most conspicuous. The group was founded in June 2005, and by the following year it had nearly 40 members. Co-chairs Rick Larsen and Mark S. Kirk have said on many occasions that “we should cross the river hand in hand with the Chinese people.” Larsen’s other famous line is: “The best way for Congress members to understand China is to go to China.”23 In fact, in China, a country which practices media and thought control, it is simply impossible for someone who has never lived in a totalitarian state to recognize the truth based on a ten-day junket. Moreover, the Communist Party of China has accumulated several decades of experience with the “culture of inspection” and is very good at presenting its best face to foreigners and high-ranking leaders. From the July 1944 visit to Yan’an by the “U.S. Army Observer Group” to the succession of U.S. politicians who visited China following Nixon’s visit, the impression of China is often a good one. For James R. Lilley, former U.S. ambassador to China, the biggest headache in his life was discussing China issues with these “China hands” who had been to China a few times or made a brief stop there.

3. Lobby U.S. political circles through U.S. multinational corporations with investments in China. The broad interests of multinational corporations investing in China make them an important link in Sino-U.S. political and economic relations. Over the years, in order to achieve and safeguard the profits from their investment in China, multinational corporations have engaged in a lot of lobbying of Congress. They have professional lobbyists in Washington, and have formed alliances.

China’s behavior in Africa is “new colonialism,” or “economic imperialism,” aimed at plundering African energy resources while disregarding Africa’s environment and ecology.

Prior to China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), they were keen to appeal to the U.S. government to extend China’s Most Favored Nation (MFN) status unconditionally. Faced with China’s poor human rights situation and authoritarian politics, their main arguments in lobbying Congress were: “China is moving further along the road to Western-style democracy”; “economic development will spur political reform in China”; “the spread of the Internet will bring freedom of the press to China,” and so on. The Chinese government greatly benefited from a number of these lobbying activities. For example, in 2000, prior to the vote on China’s MFN status, Boeing and hundreds of other U.S. multinational corporations banded together to launch a massive lobbying operation in Congress. Participants included the companies’ experts in government relations, lobbying mechanisms of trade federations, as well as the lobbying firms they jointly hired. Over a period of about a year, they organized a large number of lectures and discussions to impress on Congress the idea that opening up trade with China would give American companies enormous business opportunities, and their efforts were ultimately successful. This collective lobbying cost a total of $112 million. Prior to this, the record for U.S. business community’s collective lobbying effort was for the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which cost less than $30 million.24

In 2006, the United States issued a proposed rule, Revisions and Clarification of Export and Reexport Controls for the People’s Republic of China (PRC); New Authorization Validated End-User,25 increasing the number of products subject to export restrictions by 47 items, but in the end, what prompted the U.S. to reduce restrictions was not the protest by the Chinese government, but the lobbying by U.S. multinational corporations Boeing, United Technologies, and others.26

4. China’s Africa strategy: mutual tolerant alliances with tyrants who oppose human rights. As of today, of the 53 sovereign nations in Africa, 49 have established diplomatic relations with China (the remaining four maintain “diplomatic relations” with Taiwan). In global terms, compared to other areas, China’s penetration and influence in Africa has been its most successful.

China’s current Africa strategy commenced in 1995, when China completely abandoned the “anti-colonial, anti-hegemony” ideological strategy of the Mao era, broadened the scope of its exchanges from single-purpose (ideology-export) to multi-purpose, and, in economic terms, moved from pure economic aid to an emphasis on the mutually beneficial “win-win” approach to resource development.27 Especially when it comes to their joint resistance to criticism from the international community of the human rights situation in China and Africa, China and some African dictatorships have formed alliances of interests.

There are two distinct characteristics of Sino-African relations during this period: 1) Summit Diplomacy became the basis for bilateral relations; for example, in 2007 Hu Jintao led a delegation of 130 to Namibia, boosting economic cooperation between the two countries; 2) China’s investment in and development of strategic resources constitute the essential relationship of Sino-African cooperation. China is now Africa’s second- largest trading partner. However, this strategy constitutes an attack on the existing international order, and the strength of China’s political influence is clearly growing by the day. In particular, China’s protection of nations that violate human rights and its disregard for issues of governance and transparency in African nations have become topics of concern in the international community. Such criticism centers on the following three aspects.

a. China’s behavior in Africa is “new colonialism,” or “economic imperialism,” aimed at plundering African energy resources while disregarding Africa’s environment and ecology.28 China imports mainly energy and raw materials and the damage of this sort of extractive industry to the environment is relatively large, leading to criticism and protests from a number of African governments and non-governmental organizations. China’s economic developments in Africa are mainly in oil exploration, timber extraction, and dam construction. African scholars and NGOs are very critical of China’s oil exploration and dam construction. Western companies are subject to supervision from civil society and do not dare to engage in resource extraction in Africa that goes against human rights and ethics. For example, Austrian and Canadian companies, under pressure of public opinion, abandoned their oil exploration rights in Sudan. But Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian oil companies, due to the lack of intervention by civil society, bought up these rights. PetroChina requisitioned a large land area, destroying the local traditional livelihood, causing displacement of the northern Upper Nile residents and showing disregard for their southern counterparts.29 Intellectuals in Sudan and Mozambique have strong views on China’s dam construction in Africa; the director of the London and Khartoum-based Sudanese Piankhi Research Group, Ali Askouri, wrote an article critical of China’s forced relocation of the population from the oil-producing region and also referred to the fact that China’s participation in the Merowe Dam construction forced three ethnic groups to relocate, affecting the lives of many.30

b. China’s economic development projects in Africa have not in fact brought many employment opportunities for Africans. Some Chinese companies, taking into account cultural differences, the language barriers, and costs, have opted for bringing laborers from China, which was undoubtedly a blow to the African labor market. In addition, the fact that these Chinese companies have frequently brought work models from China (long hours, excessively low wages, and poor working conditions) over to Africa, has created an adverse effect. Moeletsi Mbeki, deputy chairman of the South African Institute for International Affairs, feels that for South Africa, China’s economic development is both an attractive opportunity and a frightening threat.31

. . .[T]he “soft power” China is peddling to the world is vastly different from the soft power (cultural values) recognized by the international community. China’s “soft power” in European countries takes the form of purchase order diplomacy; in Africa, natural resource diplomacy, along with conditional economic aid. Moreover, the impact of its genuine soft power—its cultural values—is extremely limited and mostly negative.

c. China disregards human rights and supports dictatorships.

There are three reasons why the harm created by China’s method of providing aid to Africa has come in for criticism: 1) China’s non-interference in internal affairs and failure to attach any conditions to its aid break the Western countries’ model of aid with political conditions attached, and allow some African countries to exercise autocratic power with impunity. Richard Dowden, director of the British Royal African Society, points out, “The Chinese government likes to deal with undemocratic governments.”32 China’s support for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has also been criticized by the international community. The result of the economic cooperation between China and Sudan is largely the great amount of oil-drilling in Sudan. And according to the latest report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the main cause of the Darfur crisis is environmental degradation. The resistance of Sudan and other countries to the international community’s criticism of the human rights situation in the two countries is even more the result of the alliances of interests.33 2) Figures on China’s aid to Africa are not transparent. At the present stage, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce is responsible for China’s aid to Africa, but every province and city, and every ministry and committee, has its own projects. When high-ranking leaders visit, they are provided with loose estimates, and the multi-pronged aid method makes it difficult to determine the total amount of aid. 3) China’s aid is in the form of national loans to help African countries in economic construction. But due to the general lack of management capacity in African countries, not only is it difficult for China’s various loans to Africa to help the normal development of the continent, the loans in fact increase the recipient countries’ heavy debt burden and have a negative impact on their political development.34

China’s aid to Namibia and the related procurement scandal are a vivid illustration of the enormous corruption risks encountered when China links its overseas aid with corporate interests. China conditioned its low-interest loan to this small African country by its purchase of $55.3 million worth of Chinese container scanners, to “help fight smuggling.” The supplier of these scanners was the Tongfang Weishi Technology Stock Company, which was headed by the son of the CPC General Secretary and China’s President Hu Jintao.35 One could say that the Tongfang Weishi Company corruption case in Namibia caused serious damage to the “China model” in the eyes of the African people.

In sum, the “soft power” China is peddling to the world is vastly different from the soft power (cultural values) recognized by the international community. China’s “soft power” in European countries takes the form of purchase order diplomacy; in Africa, natural resource diplomacy, along with conditional economic aid. Moreover, the impact of its genuine soft power—its cultural values—is extremely limited and mostly negative. In recent years, the issue of the quality of products “made in China” has caused the international community to be even more convinced that China is a society that has lost its moral compass.36 For many China-based “China experts,” “Chinese characteristics” in fact means “corruption.” Thus, “soft power” diplomacy with “Chinese characteristics” frequently leads to the breaking of the rules of the game and corruption. Extended to international investment, trade, and political relations, the “Chinese characteristics” leave a profound mark—that of rampant corruption. In recent years there have been endless corruption scandals involving multinational corporations investing in China: Lucent, Dell, IBM, Hitachi, and Siemens have all engaged in bribery of high Chinese officials.37 And even in so pure a body as the Nobel Prize Committee a scandal has broken out involving suspected bribery of several committee members by the Chinese government.38 One can say that the “interest”-led soft power that China exercises in the international community will result in the “spiritual pollution” of the world. If not taken seriously, the world will suffer the consequences of the corrupting power of this “spiritual pollution.”

Translated by J. Latourelle


1. Zheng Bijian, “China’s ‘Peaceful Rise’ to Great-Power Status,” Foreign Affairs, September/October 2005, ^

2. Zheng Bijian [郑必坚], “Zhongguo heping jueqi xin daolu yu Zhong Mei guanxi” [中国和平崛起新道路与中美关系], Xinhua News Agency [新华社], September 2, 2005, ^

3. Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (New York: Public Affairs, 2005). ^

4. Shenzhou 5 and Shenzhou 7 are the first and third of China’s manned spaceflight missions, respectively, and made China the world’s third country to launch manned spaceflights. Shenzhou 5, launched on October 15, 2003, carried one astronaut, Yang Liwei, into space. The mission was widely touted in Chinese state media as a triumph for Chinese science and technology. Shenzhou 7 was launched on September 25, 2008, and included China’s first extra-vehicular activity (spacewalk). ^

5. Xiao Xinhuang and Aaron Yang [萧新煌及艾伦·杨], “Zhongguo xian yinqin de xiangqing” [中国献殷勤的详情], Asia Times [亚洲时报], December 4, 2008, ^

6. Chinese language schools, overseas Chinese associations, and Chinese language media have long been the “three precious treasures of the overseas united front” for the Chinese government. Beginning in 2004, the Chinese government-funded “Huaxia Chinese Schools” became the “Confucius Institutes” and were expanded worldwide. The body responsible for the expansion of Confucius Institutes worldwide is the “National Hanban,” a subsidiary unit of the Chinese Language Council International, representing itself overseas as an NGO. Up to July 2009, 331 Confucius Institutes (classrooms) had been set up in 83 countries and regions. ^

7. Didi Kirsten Tatlow, “Throwing the Book at China,” The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2009, ^

8. Chen Jun [陈君], “Zhongguo mao cu tuan ‘zhengjiu Ouzhou,’ waimei: Zhongguo kaizhan ‘dingdan waijiao’” [中国贸促团“拯救欧洲”,外媒:中国开展“订单外交”], China News [中国新闻网], March 18, 2009, ^

9. Chu Zhaogen [储昭根], ”Zhong Mei Ou chonggou zhanlüe san jiao” [“中美欧重构战略三角”], Nanfeng Chuang [南风窗], December 25, 2007, ^

10. “Fa meiti piping xiang Zhongguo qiangyingpai ban xunzhang” [“法媒体批评向中国强硬派颁勋章”], British Broadcasting Corporation [英国广播公司], April 25, 2007, ^

11. “Faguo zongtong Sakeqi: Zhongguo yi dinggou 160 jia kongzhong keche feiji” [法国总统萨科齐:中国已订购160架空中客车飞机], Reuters [路透], December 26, 2007,; Jane Macartney and Robin Pagnamenta, “French Seal $12bn Chinese Nuclear Deal,” The Times (UK), ^

12. “Faguo xuezhe: Duiyu Zhongguo, Ouzhou xuyao baochi juli” [“法国学者:对于中国,欧洲需要保持距离”], Radio France Internationale [法国国际广播电台], December 5, 2008,; “Zhongguo qianze Sakeji yu Dalai Lama de huiyu, Sakeji qiwang shuangfang neng xinping qihe chuli cishi” [“中国谴责萨科齐与达赖喇嘛的会晤,萨科齐期望双方能心平气和处理此事”], Radio France Internationale [法国国际广播电台], December 7, 2008,; “Faguo wangmin dui Zhongguo dizhi Faguo huo de fanying” [“法国网民对中国抵制法国货的反应”], Radio France Internationale [法国国际广播电台], December 6, 2008, ^

13. “Bolin huanying Zhongguo caigou tuan: jiejiao pengyou kandao xinxin zhi guang” [“柏林欢迎中国采购团:结交朋友看到信心之光”], Deutsche Welle [德国之声], February 26, 2009,,,4058984,00.html; “Deguo zhuanjia tan Zhongguo caigou tuan: qiaomiao
de zhengzhi jucuo” [“德国专家谈中国采购团:巧妙的政治举措”], Deutsche Welle [德国之声], February 27, 2009,,,4059361,00.html. ^

14. Zhang Le [章乐], “Falanxi zai yintang zhongqi ‘Renquan xuanyan’ 60 zhounian” [法兰西在困窘中庆《人权宣言》60周年], Epoch Times [大纪元时报], December 13, 2008,; Natalie Nougayrède, “France without Illusions,” Foreign Policy, September / October 2009, ^

15. “Dingdan waijiao sixiang zhuyi” [订单外交四项注意], China Entrepreneur [中国企业家] 338, no. 9, May 5, 2009, ^

16. Li Zhengyu and Xu Song [李拯宇及徐松], “Wu Banguo zai Meiguo chuxi Zhong Mei jing-mao hezuo luntan kaimushi bing zhici” [吴邦国在美国出席中美经贸合作论坛开幕式并致辞], Xinhua News Agency [新华社], September 10, 2009, ^

17. Zheng Yuwen [郑裕文], “Zhongguo fandui Meiguo de gangguan shijia guanshui” [中国反对美国对中国的钢管施加关税], Voice of America [美国之音], September 10, 2009,; Ye Bing [叶兵], “Beijing fandui Meiguo zhengshou Zhongguo luntai chengfaxing guanshui” [北京反对美国征收中国轮胎惩罚性关税], Voice of America [美国之音], September 12, 2009, ^

18. “Baiyi Meiyuan dingdan huan Meiguo zhicai, fang Mei chengguo ling shei manyi?” [百亿美元订单换美国制裁,访美成果令谁满意?], [中华网], September 13, 2009, ^

19. Bill Gertz, “Inside the Ring,” The Washington Times, May 14, 2009, ^

20. Hao Yufan [郝雨凡], Meiguo duihua zhengce neimu《美国对华政策内幕》, 303 (Beijing: Taihai Publishers, 1998), 410 [北京: 台海出版社, 1998年版,第410页]; Yin Jiwu [尹继武], “Zhong Mei guanxi zhong de Meiguo guohui yinsu” [“中美关系中的美国国会因素”], Xueshuo liangxian [学说连线], August 29, 2003, ^

21. Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, “Inside the Ring: Chinese Influence Unit,” The Gertz File, January 2, 2004, ^

22. Xue Haipei [薛海培], “Beijing weituo Meiguo gongguan gongsi zai guohui youshui” [北京委托美国公关公司在国会游说], August 29, 2005,!7DAF864A4CA8AA69!232.entry;  Cao Yufen [曹郁芬], “Guyong gongguan gongsi, liang an pin yindan, zai Mei youshui jiaoli” [雇用公关公司,两岸拼银弹,在美游说角力], The Liberty Times [自由时报], April 7, 2007, ^

23. Tang Yong [唐勇], “Meiguo yiyuan tan duihua xintai: zui hao ba ziji song dao Zhongguo” [美国议员谈对华心态:最好把自己送到中国], Global Times [环球时报], May 16, 2006, ^

24. Li Xin and Wang Feng [李昕及王丰], “Youshui Meiguo” [游说美国], Caijing Magazine [财经], August 7, 2006, ^

25. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published the proposed rule Revisions and Clarification of Export and Reexport Controls for the People’s Republic of China (PRC); New Authorization Validated End-User in the Federal Register (71 FR 38313) on July 6, 2006. ^

26. Qiu Huihui and Chen Shanzhe [丘慧慧及陈善哲], “Zhong Mei shezhan gao jishu chukou guanzhi, kuaguo gongsi jiaru youshui” [中美舌战高技术出口管制,跨国公司加入游说], 21st Century Business Herald [21世纪经济报道], February 1, 2007, ^

27. Li Anshan [李安山], “Lun Zhongguo dui Fei zhengce de tiaoshi yu zhuanbian” [论中国对非政策的调适与转变], West Asia and Africa [西亚非洲], 2006, no. 8, 11–20, posted on Li Anshan’s blog, ^

28. Dianna Games, “Chinese the New Economic Imperialists in Africa,” Business Day, February 2005,; Lindsey Hilsum, “China’s Offer to Africa: Pure Capitalism,” New Statesman, July 3, 2006, ^

29. Daniel Deng, “A Statement of the Current Situation in Northern Upper Nile”; Peter Adwok Nyaba, “An Appraisal of Contemporary China-Sudan Relations and its Future Trajectory in the Context of Afro-Chinese Relations,” papers presented at the international conference “Afro-Chinese Relations: Past, Present and Future,” November 23–25, 2005, Johannesburg. ^

30. Ali Askouri, “China’s Investment in Sudan: Displacing Villages and Destroying Communities,” in African Perspectives on China in Africa, eds. Firoze Manji and Stephen Marks (Fahamu-Pambazuka, 2007), 77–86. ^

31. Paul Mooney, “China’s African Safari,” Yale Global Online, January 3, 2005, ^

32. Alan Beattie, “Loans that Could Cost Africa Dear,” Financial Times, April 23, 2007. ^

33. United Nations Environment Programme, Sudan Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment, 2007, 329, ^

34. Alan Beattie, “Loans that Could Cost Africa Dear,” Financial Times, April 23, 2007. ^

35. Simon Elegant, “Could Corruption Probe Linked to Son Hurt Hu?,” Time, July 22, 2009,,8599,1912117,00.html. ^

36. “Yige shiqu daode luopan de shehui” [“一个失去道德罗盘的社会”], Deutsche Welle [德国之声], September 23, 2008,,,3664268,00.html. ^

37. He Qinglian [何清涟], “Opening for 30 years: The Disillusioned Myth of Foreign Investment in China.” [《对外开放30年:中国外资神话的幻灭》], Modern China Studies [当代中国研究], 2009, no. 2, ^

38. “Nobel Committees Investigated for Bribery,” The Local (Sweden), December 18, 2008, ^