China's cultural influence may be growing, but other countries are still more powerful. The “China Adjacent Region” which includes Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, the rest of Southeast Asia, and India have a greater population and economic power than China.
Countries are wary of China's attempts to spread economic influence and attempt to police or even shut down Confucius Institutes (CI). CIs have been known to censor or gloss over issues such as the Tiananmen Square massacre, Tibet, or Taiwan.
Sweden, Germany, and the U.S. have shut down Confucius Institutes over possibilities of propaganda and conflict of interests.
Some Africans are critical of China's Confucius Institutes and see China's efforts to spread Mandarin as linguistic colonization—exactly what the British did in the colonization period.
In South and Southeast Asia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan have expressed concern and resentment about China's growing presence.
Though China's cultural influence is spreading through the spread of Mandarin, many countries are still wary of China's policies and intentions to dominate the global field.
While China's attempts to extend its "soft power" through economic partnerships
are successful (particularly in Africa) its soft power campaign is limited by several factors including pollution, food safety, territorial disputes, and its authoritarian political system.