Green Soft Power? Checking in on China as a Responsible Stakeholder

Author: Agnieszka Nitza-Makowska
Institution: Collegium Civitas (Poland)
Author: Kerry Longhurst
Institution: Collegium Civitas (Poland)
Author: Katarzyna Skiert-Andrzejuk
Institution: Collegium Civitas (Poland)
Year of publication: 2024
Source: Show
Pages: 17-33
DOI Address:
PDF: ppsy/53-1/ppsy2024102.pdf

By assuming a proactive role in international environmental regimes and extending the ‘green’ dimensions of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has been seeking to promote itself as a leader and responsible stakeholder in global environmental governance. This article examines this development concerning the notion of China’s ‘soft power’ and, more specifically, the notion of ‘green soft power’ – which aims to bridge the traditional concept of soft power with a state’s behavior on environmental and climate issues. China presents an interesting case since it has accrued a considerable amount of green soft power through its multilateral environmental diplomacy practiced at the Conferences of the Parties (COPs), the high-profile annual United Nations Climate Change Conferences, but its patchy deployment of environmental standards in the bilateral engagements under the BRI highlights the contradictions in referring to China as a green soft power. With these ideas in mind, this article holds that in the search to understand the evolving nature of China’s responsible stakeholder role, attention should be given to exploring the notion of green soft power.


environmental diplomacy BRI soft power foreign policy China

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