Tuesday, August 1, 2017

China's New Challenge: How to Win the Soft-Power War

Kyle Haddad-Fonda 


I taught at a Moroccan university in the spring of 2013, a period of time that happened to coincide with the apex of popularity of the Korean rapper Psy. On Friday afternoons, after the prayer had let out of the campus mosque, students would sometimes blare music on the central quad to celebrate the beginning of the weekend. The song they chose was always “Gangnam Style.”
My students often came to my office to discuss their plans to study abroad. Inevitably, the two most popular destinations were the United States and France. But the third choice surprised me: a remarkable number of my students hoped to spend a year in South Korea. Many of them, it turned out, liked to watch Korean television shows in their dormitories. And the university had recently concluded an agreement for a bilateral exchange program with Hannam University in Daejeon, which had simplified the process.