Concerning soft power, Ren draws attention to the spread of Chinese culture internationally using the example of the 350 Confucius Institutes overseas and calls this the dawn of a “Chinese Cultural renaissance” (復興曙光). Nevertheless, these Confucius Institutes require close scrutiny since some have been accused of interfering in the academic activities of universities on Taiwan and Tibet related issues. The fact that these Confucius Institutes claim to promote traditional Chinese culture under the auspices of the Communist government is not without irony, considering the anti-Confucian legacy of Mao and the Cultural Revolution (Louie, 2011).
The PRC leaders’ claims to exclusive rights to ‘represent’ Chinese culture have also been long contested. Harvard academic Tu Wei-Ming argued in 1991 that the Chinese in Taiwan, Singapore and other diaspora communities have a greater claim to represent cultural China and to uphold the dignity of Chinese civilization than the brutal Marxist-totalitarian state. Tu’s later activities in China suggest that he may be rethinking this position—although his reconciliation with China may reflect the nation’s economic might rather than the effectiveness of its soft power.
This is indeed ironic, especially when you see this clip:
Indeed ironic, when 孔慶東, a 73rd-generation descendant of Confucious is actually defending the party which called his ancestor a bunch of not-so-nice names. He even goes out of his way to say that it should be that same party, that should be “restored to Mao’s glorious communist party”.
As in my previous post, I mentioned my fears of a surgence “cultural fundamentalism”, but the thing I fear more, is a resurgence of “communist fundamentalism”, such as Mr. 孔慶東‘s.