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This paper presents a constructivist take on soft power, by analyzing the contextual factors which influence Chinese investments (COFDI) to the EU as a relevant soft power resource. The contextual analysis shows which constraining and stimulating (internal and external) factors condition COFDI in leveraging soft power for China. Additionally, the article provides solutions for soft power optimization, since soft power resources aim to entice and foster cooperative relations toward a ‘win-win’ behavior. The issues presented here have profound implications for future studies on soft power and the political economy of Chinese investments in the EU.
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