China Pledges to Boost Promotion of Culture

The country plans to increase the use of 'soft power' in a meeting of the nation's top leadership.

As a closed-door meeting of China's leadership wrapped up Tuesday, the group resolved to bolster the country's use of cultural soft power to expand and improve its influence overseas.

"It is a major factor in the nation's comprehensive competitiveness as well as the backbone of the country's economic and social development," said a communique issued at the end of a plenary session of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee, China's central policy-making body, published by state-run media.

The government also seems to be putting its money where its mouth is. Although the communique made no specific budgetary commitments, a separate report in the English-language newspaper China Daily said that Bank of China loans to cultural entities were up 55% this year, and that Bank of Beijing had lent over 27 billion yuan ($4.23 billion) to cultural industries since 2007.

China has moved to improve its image overseas in recent years, including opening 500 Confucius Institutes in foreign countries to teach Chinese language and culture. China has also seen a move abroad by its film companies, including the listing overseas by movie studios including Huayi Brothers and Bona Film Group.