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China’s Communist party: Searching for its softer side

In the past several days, China has been doing much soul-searching. More than 300 of the Communist Party’s most powerful leaders met in Beijing and discussed ways of boosting the nation’s “cultural soft power”: an admission that for all the country’s economic prowess it lacks the magnetic draw of a country like America. Ordinary Chinese, however, have been more preoccupied with a hit-and-run accident that caused the death of a two-year-old girl. A dearth of what one Chinese newspaper commentary called “moral soft power” has been widely blamed for her demise and the seeming cold-heartedness of passersby.

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