China: the soft superpower

China may be a superpower-in-waiting but it has struggled to appear as an attractive alternative to the US-led liberal world order. This series explores President Xi Jinping’s dream of boosting his country’s appeal and turning it into a soft superpower

© Bill Butcher

Diplomatic and economic charm offensive exploits regional doubts over US under Trump

Growing band of online patriots prowls the internet to promote their homeland

Beijing encouraged investment in the US film industry to influence perceptions but is now rethinking its Tinseltown ties

Governments are worried about Beijing’s efforts to shape opinion of its authoritarian system

A spending spree on European clubs carries risks as well as rewards for China’s image

The animals have done wonders for the country’s image — but is panda diplomacy harming the species? 

More from this Series

President Xi Jinping will be in power until at least 2022 with a mandate to spread China’s influence globally

Xi is quietly ramping up a Communist party department to expand Beijing’s soft power

Fears are rising over the Chinese state’s growing foothold in foreign universities

How much do you know about Beijing’s push for global influence?

Beijing’s challenge divides western university presses on whether to resist or comply

Even ‘panda diplomacy’ is not nearly as warm and cuddly as it seems

All the recipients of Beijing’s furry ambassadors 

The west must be alert to Beijing exporting an authoritarian model