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China likely to wield more soft power in coming decades

Backed by phenomenal economic growth, China has its 'panda diplomacy', Xi's growing voice in global affairs and a flow of higher-education students into and out of China are powering this.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a welcome ceremony last July for pandas Meng Meng and Jiao Qing, which are on loan from China to Berlin's Tierpark Zoo for 15 years. Mrs Merkel referred to them as 'two very pleasant diplomats'.

THE importance of soft power has been known for centuries, but the term was coined by Joseph Nye only in the late 1980s. Countries have used both soft and hard power for centuries.

Soft power is the ability of a country to shape other countries' views, attitudes, perceptions and actions

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