This is an excellent overview and should have some impact. My opinion is that China has failed to maximise its soft-power opportunities considerably, and that at low cost and small effort this can be rectified. In particular, the next months shall see a hotting up and escalation of the soft power war of words between China and the USA, and this will spread quicky through the Anglophone world sprecifically, followed by Europe and the rest of the globe.

When China does defend itself it tends to be quite effective, and one reason for this is that it already has a huge amount of commercial power, a form that may be taken as lying between soft power proper and hard power. Where China's main trading partners are spread throughout the world increasingly, the USA quite amazingly has as its major commodity trading partners Canada and Mexico, its border neighbours. This spells advantages that are quite natural for China but can be better triggered by being more forthright concerning such issues as minorities and civil rights - China actually has good arguments in respect of both but they need careful but fulsome airing, and more historical accounts shgould be offered. Most Europeans have quite vague knowledge of the historical relations of their countries and China, especially since the 1860s.

Much of the material in the present paper is useful and perfectly open to intelligent non-academic readers, and many of such points may be carried by Chinese diplomats, politicians, and statesmen. but opportunities have been missed far too often. How many western folk have more than an inkling of the role ofChina and Chinese trade in the recovery from the financial disasters of 2007 onwards? Few.

Finally, China must look at criticism from those who study the nation and its history - sympathy, even friedship, does not mean acquiescence in all important matters, the spirit of critique can be found within the Chinese tradition on many levels, from the ancient intelligentsia to the 20th century Marxists, and this needs revival and even some welcoming.

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