Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: Pros and cons of China's soft power projection


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China's health diplomacy has received international attention, especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This study centers on the question, why did China dispatch needed medical aid across the world during the COVID-19 pandemic? How effectively has China transformed its “pandemic health diplomacy” into soft power? Beijing has taken advantage of this pandemic to exhibit its soft power, win narrative battles, or shape outcomes through the selective delivery of relief toward the world. Beijing has launched a high-tempo program of pandemic diplomacy through good deeds, such as supplying emergency medical equipment to the world to create a positive image and strengthen China's soft power in the future. The following assumption must be clarified: The COVID-19 soft-power push of China increased in developing regions that are heavily indebted to Beijing and where China has huge investment but showed a declining trend in Western European countries and the United States. Copyright © 2021 Policy Studies Organization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-620
JournalAsian Politics and Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


Hossain, M. F. (2021). Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: Pros and cons of China's soft power projection. Asian Politics and Policy, 13(4), 597-620. doi: 10.1111/aspp.12610


  • China
  • COVID-19
  • Pandemic health diplomacy
  • Soft power
  • PG student publication


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