Can Chinese Soft Power Supplant America’s Global Brand?

Can Chinese Soft Power Supplant America’s Global Brand?
A person holds Chinese and American flags at a welcome ceremony with President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, Nov. 9, 2017 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

As U.S. President Donald Trump and other Western leaders gathered in Normandy this week to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Chinese President Xi Jinping was in Russia to deepen ties with his “best friend,” President Vladimir Putin. The resulting split-screen seemed to present a study in contrasts: a navel-gazing West that has passed the apex of its global influence versus an ambitious and forward-looking China—building bridges, paving roads and enhancing its stature on the world stage. But is either image really accurate?

In this week’s editors’ discussion episode of the Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein; managing editor, Frederick Deknatel; and associate editor, Elliot Waldman, discuss the reach and the limits of Chinese soft power, as well as the extent to which it is supplanting America’s global brand.

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Relevant Articles on WPR:
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The U.S. Should Base Its China Strategy on Competitive Cooperation, Not Containment

Trend Lines is produced and edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.

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