China Seeks Cultural Influence

I’ve been saying for years that when China surpasses the United States as the world’s largest economy it will still lag behind us in one crucial department: culture. Especially pop culture. Of course, China is aware of its need to rival the U.S. and Europe in the culture department, and it is now trying to buy its way in there. But as long as it practices censorship and harassment of its artists it will have to wait a long time to exert on the world the kind of hegemony that the U.S. does. I am well aware that great art can be produced by artists living in repressive regimes; but most of that was done in the pre-Internet age. Masterpieces are made differently these days.

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