Throughout history, many countries have exercised their influence on others using various measures to lead them in a direction that matches their own policies and values. China’s overseas influence operations have gained attention in recent years.

However, China is not trying to make other countries yield to its values by demonstrating the superiority of its systems, but is creating a strategic environment favorable to itself by dividing other nations' public opinion through information manipulation and bribery.

Such influence operations are called “sharp power” — in contrast to “soft power,” which aims to build favorable views toward a country through positive attraction.