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The Role of Soft Power in China's Security Strategy: Case Studies on the South China Sea and Taiwan

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Technical Report

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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The concept of soft power came to prominence in Chinese political and academic discourse in the mid-2000s, and is now arguably a deliberate and integral part of Chinese foreign policy, facilitating Chinas rise by shaping the external environment. Examples of Chinese soft power include economic diplomacy with the global South, the Beijing Consensus, public diplomacy initiatives like Confucius Institutes, and even tourism. This study expands on the existing body of scholarly literature on Chinese soft power by exploring its integration with Chinas security strategy. Two cases are examined 1 Cross-Strait relations, and 2 the territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The study demonstrates that soft power is integrated into Chinas security strategy, and involves a wide range of sources of power. The study also shows that the interplay between soft and hard power varies significantly depending on the context.

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  • Government and Political Science

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