China denies using ‘sharp power’ to impose political influence in Western countries
Wang Guoqing, spokesman of the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), attends a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 2, 2018. The CPPCC National Committee held a press conference on Friday afternoon, one day ahead of its annual session. Photo: Xinhua
China on Friday refuted claims that it is using the so-called “sharp power” to spread political influence on Western countries, saying it is nothing but a phrase “invented to smear China.”
“It’s not the first time when a phrase is invented to smear China and it won't be the last time,” said Wang Guoqing, spokesperson of the first session of the 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (National Committee), adding that some people in the West are still using “Cold War” mindset even today.
Wang made the remarks in Beijing on Friday during a press conference for the first session of the 13th CPPCC which will open on Saturday and end on March 13.
“We are not only working to present our image, but to help the international community get a full picture of China in a timely and truthful manner,” Wang said.
He added that while in the past China could not make itself heard, it is now capable of making its voice heard far and wide. And “it’s natural that we want to showcase our own image.”
He said by the use of the phrase “sharp power” is guided by a “China threat theory” and bias against China, while the phrase “soft power” or “smart power” is used to describe Western countries in the same situation. 
He also cited a saying by American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, calling for joint efforts from big countries around the world to build a community of shared future for mankind instead of smearing each other with confrontational mindset. 
“Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated,” Wang cited the civil rights leader’s quote. 

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