'India must learn from China how to sell its strengths and achievements to world'

     The Centre for Independent Studies' researcher and author of Unrealised Potential: India's Soft Power Ambition in Asia, Dr. John Lee has come up with his interpretation of the 'pros and cons' of India and China in their approach towards selling their strengths and achievements to the world. According to Sydney Morning Herald, Lee opines that the Chinese Communist Party is obsessed with building ''soft power'' and attract attention towards the Chinese civilisation, culture, values and political system, which also ensures that it is respected and admired for its achievements since reforms began in 1978. "India puts little emphasis on promoting the country's historical, economic, political and cultural credentials to the world. Its appreciation for the value of 'cultural diplomacy' is poor. The mere mention of India as a great power usually evokes chuckles from an Australian audience. New Delhi would do well to learn lessons from Beijing about the importance of selling its strengths and achievements to the world," the paper quoted Lee, as saying. China has funded more than 270 Confucius institutes in 75 countries, teaching Mandarin and the party's version of history to more than 100 million foreigners. Beijing aims to have 1000 institutes running by 2020, while India has 24 cultural centres in 21 countries functioning under its missions abroad, he said. On the diplomatic front, China has more diplomats than any other country in the world including America. He further elongated the argument, saying that Indian diplomats might protest that China has significantly more resources at its disposal, its economy is three times larger, but the point is about purpose and intent in promoting a country's soft power, an ambition that Beijing has in spades. "India is a rising and ambitious power but its re-emergence has failed to excite the collective imagination. This does not change the potential of India's soft power enormous compared to China's. India will meet little resistance as it is rising within the existing normative order," he added.

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