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Opinion

Western universities are not prepared for engaging with China

Attempts to exert influence exploit schools' financial needs and individualism

| China
The University of California, San Diego braved criticism from Chinese students and officials in inviting the Dalai Lama to deliver a commencement speech last June.   © Reuters

China is in the midst of a concerted campaign to expand its influence over institutions, public opinion and policymakers across the world. This campaign is sometimes called a "soft power" push, but this nebulous term masks what it really is: an old-fashioned play to establish leverage.

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