1 Department of Design og Kommunikation, Faculty of Humanities, SDU2 Department of Design og Kommunikation, Faculty of Humanities, SDU
In recent years there has been much talk about when the Chinese economy will overtake the U.S., and whether our education system will be able to keep up with China in the future. Although the Danish media continue to deliver critical reports on the human rights situation in China, our involvement with China has never been greater. This is not surprising, as China in recent years has put great efforts into cultivating its soft power . But this soft power is also full of contradictions, as the attitudes towards China span from fascination to contempt, depending on the topic on debate. And from an analytical point of view especially China’s economic might poses an interesting problem: is it attraction, or is it a sense of inevitability that drives the involvement with China? That is, could China’s economic might be seen as a soft power asset attracting us to follow suit, or are we lead by some sort of band-wagon effect driven by fear of falling behind? Much research has already been done using surveys and case studies to find out what soft power resources China possesses, how these resources are being cultivated, and what kind of political outcomes they produce in other countries. They do however not address the above questions. This research will therefore attempt to fill this gap by using qualitative interviews to understand the motivations behind the ways Danish people respond to the rise China.