This chapter examines the properties of China's projection of soft power and its reception in Central Asia. It argues that China's general inability to project sufficient soft power in Central Asia – particularly in the cultural and people-to-people aspects – is at the root of China's geopolitical deficiencies in the region, as it otherwise would have achieved greater geopolitical influence given its advantageous geopolitical position. The chapter provides an overview of the literature on the conceptualisation of soft power and its Chinese adaptation. China's soft power efforts thus heavily feature culture at the forefront of their narrative promotion. The Central Asian states, commonly defined as comprising the post-Soviet nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, have been some of China's most neglected neighbours until recently, when China began forming a cohesive plan to engage its western neighbours.