China has turned to its history to cement its new place in the world
A 4,000-piece jade burial suit is among 350 priceless royal Han dynasty (210 BC - AD 220) tomb objects on display in The Search for Immortality, a show designed to coincide with the 2012 Olympic Games, when all eyes will be on
The objects in both exhibitions are relics of ancient rulers struggling to prove their legitimacy. The mandate continues today, as
Where once human rights issues and images of an authoritarian regime's goose-stepping soldiers dominated its international image, over the past decade
'These are extraordinary things. Why not make the most of them? They show that China was once a very important kingdom and will be so again,' said
More than 300
China relies on
At a time when many Western news media outlets are contracting,
Whether drawing on the ancestors to re-brand China will work remains to be seen.
More significant is the direction in which the polling figures are heading: in the 2012 results of the 22-nation poll, China had surpassed both the US and the EU in global perceptions of influence, with 50 per cent of those polled indicating that China was exerting a positive influence worldwide, a four-point increase on 2011.
The increase was apparent in both the developing and industrialised world, suggesting that China's multi-pronged soft-power approach might be starting to reap benefits.
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