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The Historicity Of China's Soft Power: The PRC And The Cultural Politics Of Indonesia, 1945–1965

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the production and reception of the China imaginary in Indonesia by focusing on the PRC's cultural diplomacy and venues through which Chinese literary principles were appropriated and domesticated, and subsequently constituted an integral component of Indonesian cultural politics. With China's growing influence in global affairs at the turn of the 21st century, academics and politicians in both the PRC and abroad have increasingly been drawn to its "soft power," a concept first coined and made popular by Joseph S. Nye Jr. in the late 1980s. At the regional level, China's development model (or the so-called Beijing Consensus) has become increasingly attractive in Southeast Asia as an effective alternative to the Washington Consensus. It was in this context that China emerged as a soft power attractive to new countries such as Indonesia, and served as a real alternative to Western modernity in the 1950s and 1960s.

Keywords: Beijing Consensus; China; cultural politics; Indonesia; Joseph S. Nye Jr; soft power; Southeast Asia; Washington Consensus



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