- From the mid-19th century, China has undergone a long transformative journey in politics, economy, and culture. Today, the trend of modernization is accompanied by an important revival of traditional culture. Over the past decade, Chinese government’s focus has not been limited solely to economic development. It has also used traditional culture to fulfill its domestic and diplomatic goals. In addition, Chinese citizens have felt drawn to traditional culture to maintain a sense of stability in their rapidly changing society. In this project, the guzheng, a Chinese zither with over 2,500 years of history, serves as a lens to examine the Chinese engagement with their tradition and the role traditional Chinese culture has played in Chinese lives and around the world. By surveying and interviewing the guzheng teachers, students and parents, I analyze how they perceive the significance of the guzheng in individuals' career development. In addition, I also explore how the guzheng has enriched Chinese popular culture, a marker of Chinese modernity. I also seek to show that the guzheng has served as a factor enhancing the presence of China on the global stage. It has helped the Chinese diaspora to reconnect to its homeland, in addition to contributing to Chinese culture's entry into international culture. Finally, traditional music, for which the sound of the guzheng is vital, has been instrumental in building China's soft power in international relations.