To Build A “Harmonious World”: China’s Soft Power Wielding in the Global South


This study attempts to answer a new but important question in China’s foreign policy— how Beijing has wielded its soft power to construct its ideal of international order in the age of China’s rise. Before empirical analyses, this study tries to set up a conceptual framework on the relations between the idea of “harmonious world” and China’s soft power wielding in its rising process. Within this framework, this study examines a rising China’s foreign policies towards three targeted regions in the global south—Africa, East Asia, and Latin America. On the one hand, due to Beijing’s carefully-designed and soft power-based foreign policies, the global south has become an increasingly harmonious environment for Beijing to cultivate a favorable national image, exert its political influence on regional affairs, benefit its own domestic economic developments, etc. On the other hand, some problems such as the so-called “China’s New Colonialism” and the increased vigilance from the other powers have already began to challenge Beijing’s harmony in those regions.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sheng Ding.

Additional information

Sheng Ding is assistant professor of political science at Bloomsburg University. He received both his masters and doctoral degrees from Rutgers. His research interests include soft power in international relations; transnational identity in globalization; information technology and world politics; politics in Pacific Asia; Chinese politics and foreign policy; U.S.-China relations, etc. His research articles have been published by Pacific Affairs, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics and East Asia: An International Quarterly. The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments on the draft of the paper.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ding, S. To Build A “Harmonious World”: China’s Soft Power Wielding in the Global South. J OF CHIN POLIT SCI 13, 193–213 (2008).

Download citation

Key words

  • Harmonious World
  • Soft Power
  • China’s Peaceful Rise
  • Global South
  • Bandwagoning