But today an op-ed appeared which made it quite clear that anybody who messes with China’s dignity should expect a flaming bag of cat hurled in the general direction of their front door sometime in the very near future....This is China at its soft power worst, scoring goals in its own net and making it exponentially harder to convince the rest of the world that the country is being run by grown-ups.

Put another way, nobody loves England that much unless it comes charming with the soft power of the Commonwealth, the British Council, the Church of England, the BBC, the English soccer premier league and the royal wedding.

The game of cricket is one of the things that distinguishes England from Ireland. The English play it, the Irish don’t, at least not much. The English are the professional giants of the game, the Irish are amateurs, struggling in a country where many associate cricket with the days of British occupation.

For the second time in six months England have been left crushed by the World Cup. After the humiliation of this summer's 4-1 defeat to Germany in South Africa came another resounding rejection for football's mother country.

The University of Leicester is to stage a series of public events to celebrate the Olympics 2012.This lecture provides an overview of Chinese public diplomacy and soft power - China's attraction via national values and cultural appeal - and tries to understand how the Olympics and their media coverage helped the projection of modern, dynamic and peaceful China.