From Democracy Digest
China is pushing to build up cultural “soft power” to complement the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $60 billion infrastructure program it has launched as part of the Asian giant’s flagship “Belt and Road” project. Over the past year, China has sent the state-owned Pakistani Television Corporation and other commercial television channels a series of documentaries, dramas and other television programming for free, officials from PTV told Reuters:
There is a harder edge to some of China’s soft power, notably in its response to criticisms of the Belt and Road initiative as a neo-colonial project, promoting environmentally damaging projects such as coal-fired power plants that benefit Chinese companies more than Pakistan.
Media and think tank officials from both nations plan to set up a “Rapid Response Initiative System” to counter negative perceptions and stop “fake news” about China-Pakistan projects, some of which have garnered increasing scepticism of their economic benefits and criticism of the environmental cost.
China’s military expansion and commercial push into Europe is aimed at redefining the global trade and security system at the expense of the democratic West. Europe and the U.S. need to wake up to the challenge, says a leading analyst.
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