• China,  Events,  Public Diplomacy

    Debating China’s Global Reputation – a conference in Beijing May 19

    A high level conference on public diplomacy and China’s reputation in the world will take place in Beijing later this month. The event is co-sponsored by the Charhar Institute, China’s primary public diplomacy “tthink tank”, the Clingendael Institute of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the China-Europe Academic Network (CEAN). The title theme is “Geo-cultural Perspectives on Public Diplomacy – Trialogue among Chinese, European, and American Scholars.” The forum brings together a mixed group of leading Chinese and international scholars, think-tankers, and practitioners to discuss a geo-cultural perspective on public diplomacy based on a China-Europe-US-Dialogue. The event starts on May 19 at 9am (Beijing time) and will end…

  • China,  Government Broadcasting,  ICT,  Public Diplomacy

    Another US Deficit – China and America – Public Diplomacy in the Age of the Internet

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee released its report on the imbalance of public diplomacy activities between China and the United States. Entitled “Another U.S. Deficit – China and America – Public Diplomacy in the Age of the Internet,” this is the final version of the report I reviewed on 11 February. Commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), the Ranking Member of the Committee, the report is a unique and necessary review of Chinese Government engagement in America. The report also highlights Chinese obstruction of reciprocity and U.S. Government failure to act, notably in the area of information freedom initiatives. The timing of this report is critical. It comes on the…

  • China,  Cultural Diplomacy,  Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    China and American Public Diplomacy: Another US Deficit

    Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) will publish another major report on public diplomacy shortly. Written by Paul Foldi, senior professional staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this report focuses on Chinese public diplomacy with the inevitable comparison to U.S. efforts. I was given a sneak peak at the report. It comes at a time when tough talk in Congress on the State Department’s budget could benefit from such an analysis of a country that is both a major competitor and partner across all aspects of national power and daily life. This report is another in-depth investigation and commentary on a critical aspect of U.S. global engagement. It focuses on the…

  • China,  Public Diplomacy

    Whither public diplomacy?

    For the practice, theory and organization of public diplomacy, is it helpful for the activities of a foreign government – or non-governmental organization for that matter – in the United States (or elsewhere) to be labeled as public diplomacy? Applying this label could contribute to increased understanding of public diplomacy’s methods and value in the Congress, the White House, the public and the media? Or it could be a harmful link to foreign “propaganda” and our own engagement efforts abroad?

  • Africa,  China,  Development,  Public Diplomacy

    Aljazeera: tsunami of Chinese commerce is sparking tension and even violence in some parts of Africa

    Earlier this month, Aljazeera screened a movie titled The Colony by Brent Huffman and Xiaoli Zhou. Huffman and Zhou explored the “onslaught of Chinese economic might and its impact on long-standing African traditions.” This economic colonization, hence the title of the film, is not without its pitfalls with minimal assimilation, integration, or perception of mutual benefit. As Huffman notes, Although there is communication between the two sides at a certain level, it is rather limited. Despite various differences in language, culture, and work ethics, the Chinese are not making enough of an effort to integrate into Senegalese society. Although the Chinese businesses have brought some benefits to the local low-income…

  • China,  Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    China hosts seminar for developing countries on guiding public opinion and building a national brand

    Last month, China hosted an event for Information Ministers from twenty developing countries titled “Actively Guiding Public Opinion and Building up Sound National Image.” According to Sierra Leone News: The workshop focused on the cooperation and development between the Chinese and foreign media and information department encompassing political, economic, cultural and social aspects. Participants raised grave concern about the negative media coverage given to developing countries despite efforts of these countries to match up with modern standards. The Secretary General of the Information office in China, Mr. Feng Xwang said the western media controls the voice of news report thereby failing to report on the social life of the people. …

  • China,  Psychological Struggle

    Treble Spyglass, Treble Spear?: China’s Three Warfares

    “For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” -Sun Tzu Timothy Walton has an interesting paper entitled “Treble Spyglass, Treble Spear?: China’s Three Warfares” (385kb PDF) in the Winter issue of Defense Concepts, a journal put out by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies.  The paper essentially describes the Chinese as adjusting military strategy to incorporate all of the elements of power. In the U.S., this is called DIME, for Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economic (or the expanded version that never gained the same traction: DIMELIF, DIME + Finance, Intelligence, Law…

  • China,  Public Diplomacy

    Recommended Reading: China’s New Diplomacy

    In the latest issue of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael‘s Discussion Papers in Diplomacy, China is featured in a paper titled “The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and China’s New Diplomacy” by Gao Fei, an expert on contemporary Chinese diplomacy and Russian affairs. According to Clingendael: This article offers a Chinese perspective of the elements and approaches of what is often called China’s ‘New Diplomacy’ and argues that China’s involvement in the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) can be regarded as an exemplary case of ‘China’s New Diplomacy.’ The article furthermore aims to contribute to the understanding of China’s emerging role in the international multilateral arena. The concepts…

  • China,  Government Broadcasting,  Media,  Public Diplomacy

    China aims to expand soft power, adds English-language news channel

    In 2000, China Central Television (CCTV) launched CCTV International, its 24-hour English-language news service aimed for the global audience. CCTV’s international broadcasting has since expanded to cover news -from a Chinese perspective- in French, Spanish, Russian, and since 2009, Arabic. On July 1, 2010, China launched another international English language news channel to expand its soft power. According to a July 2, 2010 article from The Guardian by Tania Branigan, Chinese authorities hope the launch of state news agency Xinhua‘s CNC World channel will help promote China’s image and perspectives. Similar to CCTV’s international objective, Xinhua’s president said CNC would “present an international vision with a China perspective.” Currently, CNC…

  • China,  Government Broadcasting,  Media,  Public Diplomacy

    CCTV: China’s soft power in the Middle East

    On May 27, 2010, The National published an article about China’s engagement strategy, carried out by state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), toward Arab television viewers in the Middle East and North Africa. Many countries broadcast to the Middle East in Arabic, including France, Russia, and the U.S., but China is different: it broadcasts, from Beijing, to the region in Chinese with Arabic subtitles. Instead of focusing on news and current events in the Middle East, CCTV highlights Chinese culture and the arts. Simply, “…CCTV Arabic aims to tell the Arab world about China.“ In his article, Daniel Bardsley further describes China’s strategy, which involves voicing the views of the…