Zheng He’s Soft Power Discourse in Indonesia: Identity in Power Relation

Siti Aliyuna Pratisti, Deasy Silvya Sari, Taufik Hidayat


This article proposes an identity turn in the ongoing discourse of China’s peaceful rise. While economic diplomacy remains as China’s leading trade, a robust social relation has been deliberately promoted in maintaining the relationship between states. To symbolize the peaceful relation, China does not need to look further as Zheng He, an ancient sea admiral of the Ming dynasty, posed as a powerful figure for peaceful diplomacy. The social constructivist approach to soft power will be used in analyzing the concept of collective identity and power relations. To illustrate this approach, a specific case study on China-Indonesia Muslim’s connection that exists since Zheng He’s era, will be highlighted as a landscape where the shared identity meet. The qualitative method will be applied to interpret shared values between the two societies. Despite the fact that the state level of analysis is generally used in depicting soft power discourse, this article tries to step beyond the boundaries of states by emphasizing the relationship of soft power in society level.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/eprd.v1n1p64


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