The Chinese Government And The Chinese Diaspora: For State Economic Development And Global Power

2248 words - 9 pages

Diaspora has become an integral component of understanding the world in which we live. In the past thirty years alone, the diaspora has tripled in number to 215 million people around the world. (Aikens, diasporamatters.com) Consequently, though it may not be obvious, diaspora communities have gained great deal of influence on the political, economic and social aspects of our lives. Members of diaspora are living in a world that is more codependent, interconnected, and globalized that every before. Resultantly, countries are beginning to realize that the Diaspora community is a strategic resource. As the website diasporamatters.com conveys, diaspora is constituted of global-wide connections ...view middle of the document...

“Power,” Nye argues is, “the ability to affect others and get the things you want” (Nye 45). Additionally, he classifies power into the two categories of “hard power” and “soft power” (Nye* 5). Hard power is characterized as persuasion and control through, “inducements (“carrots”) or threats (“sticks”).”(Nye* 5) In other words, hard power is direct coercion through the usage of tangible rewards or by explicit (often antagonistic) force. It can be seen in a political-global sense as influence stemming from known, visible, concrete military/economic strength of nation-states that has the ability to place pressure and even exert control on nations of less strength. In opposition, soft power is characterized as the indirect way to get others to want what you want by attraction, seduction, and cooption. (Nye 5) Simply, that soft power is power through the passive attraction of values, culture, charisma and expression that, in a sense can subtly sway actions, inspire others and move opinions. Unlike hard power, soft power isn’t palpable or easily identifiable but seen in policy, institutions and organization in order to gain voluntary allegiance and willing support. Therefore, when nation states become producers of hard power and soft power in addition to maintaining a balance between them, they are able to placate their influence globally.
Furthermore, in regards to the concepts of hard and soft power, Joseph Nye also explains that there are currently two main shifts in the way that power is used in international politics and world affairs. He pertains that, “these shifts which are the result of the information revolution and globalization, is power transition among states and power diffusion from state to non state actors.” (Nye 46) Simply, that power is being transferred from the current state power holders to other states and entities. Meaning that non-state entities like diaspora are now gaining influence and importance. As a result, not only do nation-states have to respect and observe the “power” of diaspora, but because of strong ties between the diaspora and its ancestral home, can in a manner tap into this resource in order to propel the nation-states own “power.”
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is one of the nation-states currently engaging with its diaspora and uses it not only as a means for developing its economy domestically and internationally, but to also propel its power and influence in the global community. Diaspora is often described as the movement and migration of a people away their ancestral homeland. Essentially, it is composed of people who are not living in their “ethnic” homeland. However, in an adjectival sense, the concept of diaspora is not just used to identify a bounded group, but instead focus on geographically dispersed connections, institutions. Primarily, it focuses and in a sense re-enforces its attachment or link to the homeland. The Chinese diaspora is particularly interesting because it is trans-global:...

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