This report finds that the concept of “soft power” is an overrated explanation for Chinese influence in the Pacific Islands. The buzzword often disguises more than it reveals about Chinese influence in Australia’s nearest region.
The author argues that “soft power” doesn’t explain China’s presence in the Pacific Islands region. Nor does it explain the extent of the PRC’s influence in the South Pacific. China’s current influence in the Pacific Islands isn’t so much a consequence of its soft power but of its economic influence.”