China now using 'sharp power' to defend its interests: US think-tank

Decades after opening up its market to the rest of the world, China is reshaping its soft power to "sharp power" to defend and promote its authoritarian regime, including through an influence campaign inside the United States, according to a US think-tank report.

China seeks to "penetrate and sway" the Chinese American community, Chinese students in America, US civil society organisations, universities, think-tanks and media, it said.

The Hoover Institution report also said that China's influence-seeking activities are extended to several other countries, including Singapore. When the Republic took on the three-year stint as the Asean country coordinator in 2016, said the report, Chinese diplomats tried to convince Singapore to "explain" China's position on the South China Sea to other Asean countries.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2018, with the headline 'China now using 'sharp power' to defend its interests: US think-tank'. Print Edition | Subscribe