The Transitional of China's “Soft Power” to “Sharp Power” Policy in the 21st Century

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Pornpawis Lhapeerakul
Paramita Saetieo


The purpose of this study is to examine the transition of China's soft power policy to sharp power. How does China's transition from soft power to sharp power affect cooperation between China and countries that cooperate with or are supported by China in the political, economic, trade, and investment fields? And how does it affect the expansion of China's influence and good image?

The study shows that an increase in superior bargaining power in business, politics, and military, combined with a desire to become one of the world's great powers. China's earlier use of soft power, emphasizing "persuasion," has changed to the use of power with more conditions and coercion, known as "sharp power." From the beginning, China will focus on building a good image and promoting cooperation by spreading Chinese language and culture through the Confucius Institute and the media. Chinese enterprises will be encouraged to invest abroad in line with the “Belt and Road” Initiative through investment and financial support from the Chinese government. This will include increased efforts to buy and invest in foreign media companies to influence and distort negative Chinese information and project a positive image of China. Through this method, they are all hidden with advantageous conditions, coercion and perversion. Ultimately, this important process is to adjust the image, create cooperation and influence the economy to dominate politics.


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How to Cite
Lhapeerakul, P., & Saetieo, P. (2021). The Transitional of China’s “Soft Power” to “Sharp Power” Policy in the 21st Century. Connexion: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 10(2), 79–92. Retrieved from
Research article


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