The development of Chinese soft power in Central Asia – opportunities and challenges
The article presents analysis of the development of China’s soft power in Central Asia. Since 2005, China has been trying to promote Chinese language and culture in Central Asia. Institutes of Confucius began to appear in the region. There are currently 13 of them. More and more youth from this region are learning Chinese. They also go to China to study at Chinese universities. Learning Chinese language increases the prospects of professional development and employment for people from the region. However, China still has a long way to achieve a satisfactory level of promoting its culture in the region. There are accusations that Beijing wants to train the Central Asian elites in line with the Chinese model. Central Asian states are, however, particularly sensitive to their cultural heritage. Cultural independence is among the foreign policy priorities of these countries. Beijing should continue to increase efforts to create a positive image in the countries of the region. The new Silk Road is becoming an important element of diplomacy to promote Chinese soft power.