The end of China’s soft power?


he views expressed in this article are the author’s own and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail:

“Will China invade its neighbours?” This is a question I tend to be bombarded with whenever I present lectures or attend talks on East Asian affairs. From Tehran to Tokyo, one can sense the growing anxiety towards China’s international influence. People are beginning to pay more attention to China’s military budget than its trade and investment relations with the developing world.

In sanctions-hit Iran, many merchants have been complaining about China’s allegedly opportunistic business practices, while industrialists and consumers have raised concerns over the macroeconomic and safety implications of cheap imports from China. In Japan, many are worried about their country’s ability to defend itself against a rising China, with the ongoing dispute in the East China Sea sparking a national debate over the proposed revision of Japan’s post-War pacifist constitution.

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