Sharp power concept proves Western bias

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/29 22:53:39

The concept of "sharp power" that the West coins to describe China and Russia has gradually become popular. When it comes to China, it means China's cultural exchanges are manipulated by the government for political purposes: penetrating and interfering in other countries' cultural freedom.

Western strategists are good at concocting all sorts of concepts. But sharp power, used by the Western media to portray China and Russia, involves an obvious subjective value judgment. Different from hard power and soft power, sharp power is, in fact, a pseudo-academic concept useful for confirming Western biases.

According to these strategists, the West is employing soft power to fund academics and set up cultural institutes in China. But the Hong Kong-based China-US Exchange Foundation's funding of the University of Texas at Austin and China's Confucius Institutes are examples of this sharp power.

It's beyond China's capability, and doesn't conform to the country's diplomatic ideals, to influence the values of Western society by penetration.

For China, the sole purpose of outbound cultural exchange is to foster a friendly attitude toward China in foreign countries. Chinese people have never thought of stamping Chinese characteristics on Western social governance and ideology.

Western criticism and sensationalization of China's sharp power is probably caused by the West's increasing loss of confidence. The concept may mark the beginning of the West's gradual shift from a full-scale offensive to a defensive posture toward China.

In recent years, the West's influence has been declining in China while the collective confidence of Chinese society keeps rising. The era where the West proudly exports its values to China may have come to an end while China's growing economic influence in the West may lead to worries about a different future.

The Western idea of human rights is now only connected with a very small number of dissidents and separatists in China, and has completely failed to appeal to Chinese people. The Chinese public has a stronger aversion than officials to Western preach about human rights in China.

"Human rights" is one of the core concepts that the West uses to influence Chinese society, and the West's setback in this regard has crippled its whole soft power. China's cultural confidence is rapidly recovering and has entered a new era where China and the West enjoy a new equality of thought and ideas, a rare phenomenon.

China has different national conditions from the West, and this determines its different power structure from Western countries. Instead of being all about Western interests and standards - as if they represented the whole international community - China and the West should adapt to each other.

As long as China stands up for its principles, the West cannot manipulate world public opinion. This has raised anxieties among some Westerners that China may instead penetrate the West.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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