Who's Afraid of China?: The Challenge of Chinese Soft Power (Asian Arguments)

Who's Afraid of China?: The Challenge of Chinese Soft Power (Asian Arguments)

Michael Barr

Language: English

Pages: 162


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

What role does China play in the Western imagination? The rise of China as an alternative model to Western liberalism has created a fear that developing countries will stray from Western standards of democracy, transparency, and human rights. However, such fears often say as much about those who hold them as they do about China itself. Who's Afraid of China? holds a mirror to Sino-Western relations in order to better understand how the West's own past, hopes, and fears shape the way it thinks about and engages with China. Focusing on three key areas -- models of development, soft power, and ethnocentrism -- this provocative new book argues that the rise of China touches a nerve in the Western psyche and presents a fundamental challenge to ideas about modernity, history, and international relations.













millions of Chinese-made products were recalled in several countries, prompting one US senator to suggest that all Chinese toys entering the USA be inspected. This sent shivers through the industry, as in 2007 Chinese-made toys accounted for a staggering 77 per cent of all US toy purchases.8 Within China, the campaign was faulted for focusing too heavily on China as the world’s factory and not stressing the creative potential of Chinese industry. ‘There should not be any doubt about China’s

in the nineteenth century by the West’s immoral violence. However, the worrying aspect for some is that when Zhao writes of the ‘advantages and disadvantages of different cultures’, it is reminiscent of the ‘civilization/barbarism’ distinction. This hierarchy of cultures takes as its goal the transformation of enemies into friends – if not by force then by conversion. While Zhao suggests that we need to transform people by ‘improving their interests’, it reminds one of the tactics used by the

policies have largely failed to alleviate the income gap between minority and Han regions. More worrying, they have also created resentment among many Han. Whilst problems in Tibet and Xinjiang receive the most press coverage in the West, they are by no means the only pressure points.   who’s afraid of china? Rise of the Han? In 2009, for example, discrimination against and hostility towards blacks in China came to the surface with the case of Lou Jing. Lou participated in a Shanghai-based

http://focus.news.163.com/10/0823/09/ 6EOSO67O00011SM9_2.html. 5. Philip Martin, ‘Asians Spend an Estimated $18 Billion a Year to Appear Pale’, The Global Post, 25 November 2009, www.globalpost.com/dispatch/china-and-itsneighbors/091123/asia-white-skin-treatments-risks. 6. Cited in Hathaway et al., ‘Renting the Whites’. 7. Cited in ibid. 8. Alastair Bonnett, White Identities, London: Pearson, 2000, p. 46. 9. Sun Yat-sen, ‘The People’s Three Principles’ (1905), in T. De Bary and R

Bangladesh, Chinese container facility, 82 BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), 1, 3, 24, 48, 56; World Service budget, 45–7 Beijing: Olympics 2008, 53, 61; real-estate agencies, 106; Renmin University, 105; 798 district, 51; Tsinghua University, 56, 60 Beijing Consensus, 7, 11–15; Western conceptualized, 131 Beijing Foreign Studies University, 29, 72 Beijing Summit on China–Africa Cooperation, 10–11 Bell, Daniel, 60 benevolence, values of, 27 ‘Better City Better Life’, 2010 EXPO theme, 37

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