At the beginning of the twenty-first century, China is poised to become a major global power. And though much has been written of Chinas rise, a crucial aspect of this transformation has gone largely unnoticed: the way that China is using soft power to appeal to its neighbors and to distant countries alike.This book is the first to examine the significance of Chinas recentrelianceon soft powerdiplomacy, trade incentives, cultural and educational exchange opportunities, and other techniquesto project a benign national image,position itselfas a model of social and economic success, and develop stronger international alliances. Drawing on years of experience tracking Chinas policies in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa, Joshua Kurlantzick reveals how China has wooed the world with a "charm offensive" that has largely escaped the attention of American policy makers.Beijings new diplomacy has altered the political landscape in Southeast Asia and far beyond, changing the dynamics of Chinas relationships with other countries. China also has worked to take advantage of American policy mistakes, Kurlantzick contends. In a provocative conclusion, he considers a future in which China may be the first nation since the Soviet Union to rival the United Statesin international influence.