Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Minxin Pei

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© 2013 Kalika A. Tullock


As China’s economic and military power develops and expands, it has been focusing recent efforts on upgrading its soft power in order to quell concerns and apprehensions about its rise. As the two most powerful nations in the world, China and the United States have both attached great importance to Sino-U.S. relations, recognizing that the structure of the future global community will be largely dependent upon these two countries effectively collaborating in shaping the global structure and improving global issues. Facing an American public that views China as a threat and competitor, as well as Western media that consistently paints China in a negative light, the Chinese Communist Party has realized the need to reach out to the American populace and facilitate people-to-people ties, increasing its soft power in the country and thus facilitating a stronger bilateral relationship. This thesis reviews three areas of China’s soft power push in the United States: cultural diplomacy, which includes creating more educational opportunities, building Confucius Institutes, organizing cultural events, and increasing diplomatic outreach; media campaigning and propaganda through news, television, radio, and the internet; and congressional lobbying.