Jeremy Goldkorn
Jeremy Goldkorn

China working on its soft power is a hard sell, argues Beijing-veteran Jeremy Goldkorn in ChinaFile. “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”

Jeremy Goldkorn:

Until Chinese political leaders would rather their daughters went to Peking University over Harvard, until Chinese people would rather buy Mengniu infant milk formula over the equivalent brand from New Zealand, until Beijing and Shanghai become as pleasant to live in as New York and L.A., China will find its soft power ambitions thwarted.

As the ancient American saying has it, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig—doesn’t matter how much you spend on the lipstick.

More in China File.

Jeremy Goldkorn is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

The China Weekly Hangout discussed on March 7 how China’s media are gaining traction in Africa. Attending were Eric Olander of the China Africa project and Beijing-based journalist Lara Farrar. Moderation by Fons Tuinstra of the China Speakers Bureau.

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