China and becoming a world power

In every country, internal interests come first. With more time on the world stage, China’s leaders may learn to do what their American, British, French, and other counterparts also had to learn: at least feigning awareness of the interest of mankind. China’s predicament is more difficult because its emergence is so rapid, and so much is unclear about other ways in which it will change. International - James Fallows - What Is the Chinese Dream? - The Atlantic

Soft power and why China doesn't have it

Soft power becomes powerful when people imagine themselves transformed, improved, by adopting a new style. Koreans and Armenians imagine they will be freer or more successful if they become Americans — or Australians or Canadians. Young men and women from the provinces imagine they will be more glamorous if they look and act like people in Paris, London, or New York. If a society thinks it is unique because of its system, or its style, or its standards, it can easily exert soft power, because outsiders can imagine themselves taking part in that same system and adopting those same styles.