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Senior diplomat decodes Chinese soft power

(People's Daily Online)    08:12, May 06, 2015
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Germany, Syed Hasan Javed delivers speeches at the launching ceremony of his new book "Chinese Soft Power Code" which is held at the Chinese Culture Centre in Berlin on March 25. (People's Daily/Guan Kejiang)

Editor's Note: Pakistan’s Ambassador to Germany, Syed Hasan Javed, came to Beijing in 1980 as a young diplomat for a two-year Chinese language course. He subsequently spent nearly a decade in China on two diplomatic assignments. After several decades of observation and reflection, Mr. Javed published his second book about China in English - "Chinese Soft Power Code". What are the relations between ancient and contemporary Chinese values? The book offers a unique perspective from a senior diplomat. People's Daily reporter Guan Kejiang recently conducted an exclusive interview with Mr. Javed. 

Traditional culture provides a strong support to China's rapid development

I love China - said Mr. Javed to the People's Daily reporter during the interview. Whenever there are English books about China in bookstore, I will buy them. China's achievements in the past decades have attracted worldwide attention, but unfortunately, the majority of books written in English have failed to clarify the real reasons (behind China's success). So I decided to decode the China Story through my own observations and thoughts.

With the launch ceremony having been organized and held by the Chinese Culture Centre in Berlin on March 25, the book titled "Chinese Soft Power Code" is the second book authored by the ambassador on Chinese culture. Mr. Javed explained the two meanings of the book's name. One is the quality of China's soft power based on his observations of ordinary Chinese people and China's traditional culture; the other is that the transmitter of soft power is the people.

Mr. Javed summarized the core values of the Chinese people he has observed, namely righteousness, humility, discipline, kindness, loyalty, enthusiasm, patience and perseverance. He also extended 88 moral qualities to which Chinese people attach importance, such as hard-work, patriotism, professionalism and impartiality.

He explains that soft power is the capacity through which a country takes advantage of its non-material and intangible assets to promote policies and strengthen national power. He attributes China's rapid change in the past decades to the country's rich culture and soft power.

Mr Javed came to Beijing in 1980 as a young diplomat for a two-year Chinese language course. "Chinese was like no other language," he said. "My difficult journey (to learn Chinese) was made easy by the love, understanding and respect, the Chinese showered on me. As a young man, I was ready to learn and explore. I would not fail to ask questions from everyone I met, listened or came across. I observed every action of my friends, teachers and ordinary people closely. I gained insights into Chinese people's values in their daily life, working and looking at the world. They are not unchangeable, but in evolution." Mr Javed thinks that Chinese people are good at understanding foreign cultures and then combining them with their own.

Mr Javed is an officer of the Foreign Service of Pakistan. He spent nearly a decade in China on two diplomatic assignments, first as a Third and Second Secretary from 1980-1987, and second as the Deputy Head of Mission/ Minister in the Embassy.

He is also the author of the book Chinese Made Easy: Conversational Chinese in a Hundred Lessons, published in 2012.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

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