Posted by: David Stewart | December 10, 2008

Soft Power

I read in today’s China Daily that the French president’s meet with the Dalai Lama in Poland constitutes an intent “to interfere with China’s internal affairs.”

Hey, maybe they just want to swap recipes for crepes.

China’s government reacted by canceling an EU economic summit. An internet poll conducted by a site affiliated with People’s Daily concluded that “98 percent of netizens supported the decision to postpone the summit. Out of more than 64,000 votes, only 1,325 voted ‘no'”.

Previous issues over Tibet has caused a boycott on French products, companies and tourism from China. Carrrefour is a promenent French department store here that was affected. I noticed there are plenty of Renault cars on the road as well.

This is the moral equivalent of a head of state recognizing Taiwan as something other than part of China, whatever that means.

China clearly shows that they have “soft power”, that they can wield their considerable consumer base and their influence over public opinion to cause an impact internationally. In one sense, France’s Sarkozy doesn’t need to concern himself with Chinese public opinion, since he was elected by French people, not Chinese. But if China’s people stop buying French good

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