The debate whether power is a kind of resource or an application of resources shows the complexities of the concept of power. By combining both perspectives, the authors argue that it is possible to develop a new categorization of power: soft power, soft hard-power, hard soft-power and hard power. Compared with the US and the European Union, the authors argue that if the American power strategy could be seen as “omnidirectional American primacy” and EU “omnidirectional post-sovereignty”, China’s power strategy at the moment could be mainly described as an “attraction-defence” one. With relatively limited tangible and intangible power resources, China relies more on attraction than coercion, and focuses more on defence rather than shaping. Finally, the authors propose to improve China’s power strategy by prioritizing its soft economic hard-power, upgrading soft power, extending soft military hard-power, moderately developing hard power and hard soft-power, and expanding its shaping function while maintaining the central defensive role.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/zhimin_chen/31/