• Guest Posts,  Public Diplomacy

    China: Rebranding 101

    By Roseline Twagiramariya Even if you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you have heard about China’s impressive economic growth and its continuing rise as an important global player. A few weeks ago, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released an informative report on the disparities between Chinese and American public diplomacy activities today. Most importantly, the report, commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), the Ranking Member of the Committee, gave a clear and concise look at China’s current rebranding strategies. Aware of its current spotlight and of its negative perceptions abroad, China has heavily invested in their soft power in hopes to ameliorate their image and be seen as…

  • 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…

  • Public Diplomacy

    Zhui: U.S. public diplomacy through Corporate Engagement

    In the debate over what is and is not public diplomacy, here’s another example to throw into the mix. In 2009, the ad agency for Nike China won an award for its series on Liu Xiang, a Chinese phenom in the hurdles. Liu carried the inspirations of China into the Beijing Olympic games in 2008. In the qualifying heat for the 110-meter hurdles, however, he suffered a severe and debilitating injury. He left the stadium and comments like ““This is such a disgrace for China” followed him. The Chinese government had invested heavily in Liu as a star for China: he was the first Chinese (or Asian) to win gold…

  • 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?

  • Events

    Event: Rethinking the Future International Security Environment

    The Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Laboratory announced the 7th year of its Rethinking Seminar Series. This year’s theme is Rethinking the Future International Security Environment and the objective is the “exploration of possible future international environments including potential adversaries and threats to US National Security.” Topics to be covered include: Regional areas of concern (i.e., the Middle East, China, Russia, and N. Korea) Economics and National Security through examinations of potential economic threats to the US and her allies including: The use of sovereign wealth funds to manipulate markets and currencies Nation state economic collapse, sovereign default, and nation state instability US and Allies’ budgets, deficits and their…

  • Now Media

    Cyber Probing: The Politicisation of Virtual Attack

    Despite its pervasiveness in our daily lives, from social media to electrical networks to banking, the critical nature of the online remains ill-understood or appreciated. “Cyberspace,” a recent report asserts, “remains inadequately defended, policed and indeed comprehended.” This is the conclusion of Alex Michael, a researcher for the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. In Cyber Probing: The Politicisation of Virtual Attack, Alex dispels the comfortable belief – expressed in practice and conceptualization of online and new media – that the cyber world is somehow separate from the “real” world. In fact, they are simply new tools used for traditional activities. Cyber attacks, Alex points out, are used “in conjunction…

  • 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…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    Australian report on international broadcasting and its contribution to public diplomacy

    Despite the dozens of reports on U.S. public diplomacy, it is actually quite rare to see an in-depth study on public diplomacy, particularly in the areas of government broadcasting. The “too many” reports have often focused on specific cogs without regard to their place in the greater bureaucratic machine that spans the whole of whatever government the agency happens to be in. Even more rare is an in-depth public analysis of the public diplomacy of another country by another country. This week, an Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute, published such a report. This report, International broadcasting and its contribution to public diplomacy by Annmaree O’Keeffe and Alex Oliver, is…

  • 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. …