The Hoover Institution’s project on China’s Global Sharp Power (CGSP) delivers data-driven analysis and actionable solutions that equip decisionmakers to strike more resilient, balanced, and vigilant relationships with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The PRC is the most formidable competitor the United States and its partners have ever faced. It is contesting their values, interests, and leadership across a wide spectrum of domains, from ideology and economics to technology and defense. They are struggling to comprehend its intentions, the scale of the resources it has mobilized, and the sophistication of its planning and execution.

The PRC’s intensifying exercise of “sharp power” has caught the US and its partners off-guard. Sharp power encompasses covert, coercive, and corrupting activities, short of military force or formal economic sanctions, that seek to undermine or sway the institutions of free societies by exploiting their openness. It includes everything from espionage and misappropriation of technology to economic threats; intimidation of overseas Chinese communities; and penetration of foreign companies, media, universities, and think tanks.

CGSP’s scholarship, briefings, public events, and workshops shine a spotlight on the PRC’s sharp power activities and prepare the US and its partners to compete successfully against them. CGSP pursues three main lines of effort: combating the PRC’s malign influence and information operations around the world; tracking its progress in critical technologies; and safeguarding the security and integrity of America’s research enterprise, specifically its centers of academic, corporate, and government research.

There is no more important priority for US national security than smart and vigilant management of the China challenge, informed by the best and most up-to-date data and analysis. Our ability to track, understand, and blunt the PRC’s exercise of sharp power will heavily determine whether the US and its partners can retain their economic, geopolitical, and technological leadership in the world. And that will also heavily determine the future of global economic and political freedom. The motto of the Hoover Institution is “ideas advancing freedom.” For CGSP, this also means mobilizing research and ideas to defend free societies worldwide.

The opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hoover Institution or Stanford University.

© 2024 by the Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University.

Larry Diamond

Larry Diamond

Senior Fellow

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, ​Mosbacher Senior Fellow in Global Democracy at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. He co-chairs the Hoover Institution’s programs on China’s Global Sharp Power and on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region.

Glenn Tiffert

Glenn Tiffert

Distinguished Research Fellow

Glenn Tiffert is a distinguished research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a historian of modern China. He co-chairs the Hoover project on China’s Global Sharp Power and works closely with government and civil society partners to document and build resilience against authoritarian interference with democratic institutions. Most recently, he co-authored and edited Global Engagement: Rethinking Risk in the Research Enterprise (2020).

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