In current analysis and debate concerning China's rise, the subject of soft power is either missing or misapplied. Since the 1990s, China has achieved impressive gains both in terms of soft power resources and the ability to convert the resources into desired foreign-policy outcomes. Unlike the former Soviet Union, China appears to be more successful in developing hard and soft power in tandem. Its steppedup endeavours in expanding its soft power nevertheless continue to be constrained by three factors: imbalance in resources, legitimacy concerns regarding its diplomacy, and a lack of coherent agenda. How Washington and its allies respond to this unique power pattern will shape the future strategic landscape of East Asia and beyond.