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soft power ‎(uncountable)

  1. (politics) Political influence that is extended by means of diplomacy, international assistance, cultural exchanges, etc., rather than by such "hard" means as military intervention or punitive economic measures.
    • 1999 March 8, Joseph S. Nye Jr., "The Challenge of Soft Power," Time:
      Soft power is a country's cultural and ideological appeal. It is the ability to get desired outcomes through attraction instead of force.
    • 2007 May 23, Jim Yardley, "Blocked by U.S., China finds it own way to space," New York Times (retrieved 16 July 2011):
      The bank often provides the hard currency for Chinese soft power aspirations: In Africa, China ExIm has handed out more than $7 billion in loans in recent years.
    • 2011 Jan. 8, "More Indian cultural centres to showcase soft power: PM," (retrieved 16 July 2011):
      India will set up cultural centres in five more countries to showcase its soft power and acquire a global footprint for its rich diversity, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Saturday.