Thinking Aloud

West's hard response to China's soft power efforts

Confucius Institutes and similar set-ups seen as bids to meddle in host countries' politics

This month, a group of some 2,000 university directors, dons and teachers from across the world including Singapore will be gathering in Changsha, Hunan.

Here, in the city where modern China's late founder Mao Zedong grew up and discovered communism, they can take in sights such as the world's largest Mao statue, standing 32m tall, and his former home which was destroyed in 1929 but rebuilt for tourists and fans.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 08, 2019, with the headline 'West's hard response to China's soft power efforts'. Print Edition | Subscribe