China wins intangible power race

Updated: 2012-06-18 16:27

By Bao Chang (

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China ranks top among emerging economies in exercising intangible power, according to the soft power index report released by consulting firm Ernst & Young.

China wins the intangible power race, with a score of 30.7, 10.3 points higher than India. Russia is third, while Brazil and Turkey round off the top five, the report said.

Soft power is the ability of a state to influence the actions of others through persuasion or attraction, rather than coercion. The ability of a nation to influence others tends to be associated with intangible assets such as culture, political values and institutions.

A country's intangible power varies in terms of global image, global integration and global integrity, each of which include several factors such as media exports, tourism and carbon emissions, according to Ernst & Young.

The strength of China's soft power within the emerging world is mainly driven by the growth of its multinational corporations, increased tourism and the rapid expansion and ranking of its universities.

Furthermore, China has boosted its relative soft power ranking with its recent Olympic performances, the increase of exports of films and music and the growing interest in its language, the report said.

From 2009 to 2010, China set up several hundreds Confucius Institutes around the world to teach Chinese language and culture.

China's support of international students has recently lifted the number of foreign students studying in China to 250,000, Ernst & Young said.

The firm released the soft power index of 20 rapid-growth markets including China, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Chile and Costa Rica, scaled from 0 to 100 points, annually.