China’s Cultural Diplomacy in Indonesia: The Case of a Transnational Singing Contest

China’s Cultural Diplomacy in Indonesia: The Case of a Transnational Singing Contest
Date of publication:  2024
Publisher:  ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
Number of pages:  20
Code:  TRS4/24
Soft Cover
ISBN: 9789815203240
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About the publication

The emphasis on cultural connectivity in China’s growing presence and involvement in Southeast Asia highlights the importance China places on people-to-people exchanges as part of its global engagement strategy. 

The remarkable ascension of China over the recent decades has precipitated a proliferation of anti-China sentiments, particularly galvanized within the crucible of a “discourse war” with Western powers, as expressed in the latter’s “China threat” narrative. 

In response to such challenges, China has made substantial investments in cultural diplomacy, to augment its soft power through orchestrated global outreach initiatives. 

This article examines Chinese cultural diplomacy in the realm of entertainment, specifically “The Melody of Spring: Transnational Spring Festival Gala” hosted in Nanning, Guangxi, and disseminated globally each Chinese New Year. 

Against the legacy of China-Indonesia bilateral relations as well as Indonesia’s treatment of its Chinese minority, this study explores China’s cultural diplomacy and soft power in contemporary Indonesia. 

Through the case study of the “Transnational Spring Festival Gala”, this article posits that China’s cultural dissemination as an instrument of soft power has yielded little influence on the Indonesian public and has limited impact on the formation of a transnational imagined community.


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