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China's cultural power remains feeble: report

Updated: 2011-02-21 17:19
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As China becomes a global economic powerhouse, its cultural influence remains feeble, with the country's culture industry only accounting for less than 4 percent of the world's output, according to a blue book released on Friday.

The blue book, called the "Annual Report On China's Cultural Soft Power Research (2010)," was published under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)' Social Sciences Academic Press.

The report said that China's cultural soft power lagged behind its rapid growth of "hard power."

The proportion of the country's cultural industry in GDP was much lower than the over 10 percent in developed western countries, it noted.

In addition, the cultural sector of the United States accounts for 43 percent of the world's industry total, while China accounts for less than 4 percent, figures from the report showed.

In the competition against international cultural giants, China lacks both representative world-class cultural enterprises and a competitive power based on advanced technologies, according to the blue book.

The report warned that "in an international contest, a country could be vulnerable due to its weakness in hard power and otherwise be naked as a result of its feebleness in soft power."

The report also blamed the country's current cultural system and the quality of citizens for the growth of cultural soft power.

The report urged the implementation of measures to promote the development of China's cultural soft power by moving forward the nation's traditional culture and pushing forward innovations in the cultural industry.

Apart from boosting the country's traditional culture, China should also make more efforts to foster its modern image on the world stage by "letting people outside of China know what is going on in the country in a simple way," the report suggested.

However, the paper also acknowledged China's cultural soft power development in the past years. This includes its reform of the cultural system, the development of the cultural industry, and the spread of Chinese culture overseas.

As of November 2009, about 282 Confucius institutes, which are considered a channel and a brand name for spreading Chinese culture around the world, have been set up in higher educational institutions around the world. They are jointly held by Chinese and foreign universities.

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