Hard Limits on Chinese Soft Power: Beijing won’t develop attractive power any time soon, and it doesn’t seem to mind
Robert Daly was named the second director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson Center in August, 2013. He went to the Wilson Center from the University of Maryland, where he served from 2007 until 2013. Prior to that, he was American director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China for six years. Mr. Daly began work in U.S.-China relations as a diplomat, serving as cultural exchanges officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
After leaving the Foreign Service, he taught Chinese at Cornell University, worked on television and theater projects in China as a host, actor 北京人在纽约), and writer, and helped produce Chinese-language versions of Sesame Street and other Children’s Television Workshop programs. During the same period, he directed the Syracuse University China Seminar and served as a commentator on Chinese affairs for CNN, the Voice of America, and Chinese television and radio stations.
Mr. Daly has lectured at scores of Chinese and American institutions, including the Wilson Center, the Smithsonian Institution, the East-West Center, the Asia Society, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. He lived in China for 11 years and has interpreted for Chinese leaders, including Jiang Zemin, Yu Zhengsheng, and Li Yuanchao, and American leaders, including Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, and Zbignew Brzezinski. In 2012 he testified before two congressional committees on Chinese soft power.