BEIJING: China has seen its global influence grow and its soft power rank has risen to 28th in the world, according to a report by Portland, a London-based public relations company.

The Portland has produced an annual list of the 30 strongest soft power states in the world. The report noted that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a new milestone in China's efforts to shape the world as the bank is rivaling the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the region. It added that the One Belt One Road initiative has also made many countries feel a strong economic and cultural impact from China, particularly those countries surrounding the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road.

The initiative aims to promote connectivity and cooperation among countries located on the land-based and oceangoing routes.

The U.S., followed by the U.K., Germany, Canada and France top the soft power list. Russia ranks 27th, and it is the country's first time to enter the rankings.

Soft power is commonly used to describe the factors that make a country more appealing and influential to other states, such as culture, sports and trade, with military power excluded.

The annual list of the 30 strongest soft power states combines objective factors like a country's governance, commercial environment and involvement in global affairs, and pools results about its products, cuisine, culture and hospitality.