China's Soft Power: Challenges of Confucianism and Confucius Institutes

Anja Lahtinen
  • The Journal of Comparative Asian Development, May 2015, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/15339114.2015.1059055

Challenges of Revived Confucianism

What is it about?

Revived Confucianism and Confucius Institutes play a major role in China's public diplomacy, but do they actually win hearts and minds? This paper examines the challenges of politically driven traditional culture and its agents in international arena.

Why is it important?

The findings show that the soft power strategy of culture is not as powerful as sought by the Chinese government, because Confucianism and culture are in essence about intellectual dialogue and exchange of ideas, rather than designated tools to support domestic goals for maintaining the legitimacy of the Party.


Dr Anja I Lahtinen
Helsingin Yliopisto

The article is about Chinas's Soft Power with a focus on politically driven Confucianism and Confucius Institutes to improve China's image. It highlights the major challenges of this public diplomacy in international arena while it broadens our view on China's Soft Power and understanding of the role of traditional Chinese culture in China's global reach.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Anja I Lahtinen