The power of soft culture!


With its great economic success and its dazzling political stability, China is aggressively moving toward promoting itself as a cultural and tourist destination. After years of attempts by the ruling Communist Party to dissociate China from its past and to destroy everything related to the “perdition” that preceded the Communist Revolution, the party now glorifies and highlights the “achievements” of the Chinese past and highlights its most important advantages.

In 2018, China seeks to be the country with the largest number of archaeological and heritage sites recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). China, with 52 archaeological sites, is only surpassed by Italy with 53, but China has 15 new sites that are not registered, while Italy has only five.

China has recognized the importance of soft power derived through history, civilization and culture. This is what countries such as France, Britain, Greece, India and Turkey have already realized and managed to set up sites with low costs and great returns. This has led to an improvement in the images of these countries, expanded their tourism revenue and improved the level of their international relations with other nations.

The Arab world is still far from exhibiting good management of the cultural component in its soft power, despite the existence of a cultural heritage in many of its geographical locations. There have been important attempts by Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco over the past years, but they have remained just attempts and were not sustainable projects.

Countries that have transformed culture into a key element in their economy’s arsenal and a priority in their orientation have gained much more in the media and in the political and economic arenas at a much lower cost than advertising conducted by public relations companies. Respect for the cultural component of a nation is recognition of the country’s diversity and cultural mosaic. This sends a civilized message to the international community that a nation is able to participate in global society without complications and problems.

Various countries around the world are investing in their cultural component in a serious way. Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and Japan are each making a serious effort to promote programs and initiatives highlighting tourism, television, theater, cinema and the new media to promote their different cultures. Their success is measured in economic returns and a positive image in United Nations indices.

All the Eastern European countries after their departure from the communist camp relied on soft cultural forces to highlight their new status and harvest the product of their national cultures.