Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
China, who is well known for their recent obsession for soft power, is dragging its feet on disaster relief in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. Could Beijing be withholding for political reasons?
Forget smile diplomacy. This is sneer diplomacy. Many observers, myself included, ascribed Chinese inaction following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to immature capability. The PLA hadn’t yet fielded the expeditionary capabilities necessary to render assistance far from Chinese shores. Beijing did little because it could do little. Chinese forces, however, now own disaster-relief assets such as the hospital ship Peace Ark. Yet they remain idle. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that Beijing is withholding help out of pique. Manila, after all, has the temerity to insist that its exclusive economic zone is, well, its exclusive economic zone. Seems political tit-for-tat trumps alleviating human suffering. [The Diplomat]
More from The Diplomat on the topic.
The recovery efforts have been rapid, albeit not rapid enough for those devastated by the disaster. One nation, however, has been notably absent: China. China’s foreign ministry announced that the country would provide $100,000 in cash and “humanitarian emergency relief assistance” to the Philippines, an absurdly paltry amount in comparison to the aid provided by other nations. For instance, the United Arab Emirates, home to approximately 700,000 Philippine nationals, has pledged $10 million, while regional powers Australia and the Republic of Korea have pledged $10 million and $5 million respectively. The United States has deployed a team of about 90 Marines and sailors as part of the first wave of promised U.S. military assistance amounting to $20 million. [The Diplomat]
AP also paints an unfriendly picture of Chinese philanthropy and this soft power (and humanitarian!) whiff.
Despite Chinese academics’ frequent promotion of soft power, Chinese leaders don’t really get it, said Zheng. Instead, they continue to rely on the levers of old-fashioned major-nation diplomacy based on economic and military might. “They still think they can get their way through coercion,” Zheng said. China’s donations to Philippines include $100,000 each from the government and the Chinese Red Cross, and it is sending an additional $1.64 million in tents, blankets and other goods. [AP]
Mexico and US need to develop a membrane, not a brick wall, at the border for good stuff to pass through. @Arturo_Sarukhan #publicdiplomacy
— USC Public Diplomacy (@PublicDiplomacy) November 13, 2013
The BBC is traditionally known as the leader in international broadcasting, but as it faces budget cuts and editorial restraints, competitors like CCTV are gaining ground.
With plenty of foreign faces on screen on its English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian channels, CCTV doesn’t seem all that Chinese. In contrast with the consciously anti-western slant of RT and Iran’s Press TV, CCTV plays things pretty straight, but unsurprisingly avoids controversial issues facing China and its government. One of CCTV’s seven hub bureaux is in Nairobi, where its Africa production centre was launched in January last year. Its push into Africa is one strand in China’s wider drive to deliver infrastructure in return for natural resources deals and to build influence across the continent. Peter Horrocks, the BBC’s director of global news, told a parliamentary select committee earlier this year that the Chinese are subsidising digital switchover in Africa and paying national broadcasters to run CCTV content, in some cases squeezing out the BBC. [The Guardian]
Ambassador Larry Pope, in a speech titled “Demilitarizing American Diplomacy,” asks how the State Department became such a bureaucratic behemoth.
Today we enjoy at least thirty-two Assistant Secretaries, two Deputy Secretaries, and seven Under Secretaries of State. In addition, the telephone book lists at least twenty-two “coordinators, special envoys, and special representatives” under the Secretary of State. Another twelve have similar titles but without the direct line on the organization chart. Pope asks the question of the day: “Is today’s State Department inconsequential because it is a management consultant’s nightmare, or is it a bureaucratic mess because it is so inconsequential?” Ambassador Pope’s text – one filled with facts, humor and sobering insights –is worth replicating here so you can judge for yourself. [Public Diplomacy Council]
Saudi Aramco World : Rock and Roll Ambassador [Ahmet Ertegun] http://t.co/gQqKfqFE93 #publicdiplomacy
— Halil İbrahim İzgi (@ibrahimizgi) November 13, 2013
If you are looking for a good summation of sports diplomacy, Gale just updated their introduction to the topic.
Diplomacy is traditionally defined as the practice of peaceful relations between sovereign states through ambassadors or other official government representatives. The term also applies to less formal means of contact between nations, including cultural exchanges and contacts within civil society. Nations engage in public diplomacy in order to promote goodwill, communicate certain national ideals, or exercise social influence. In recent years, the term “sports diplomacy” has entered the vocabulary of international affairs. Since sports and athletics are popular activities around the world, they represent an important area of cultural contact that can be used to facilitate diplomatic engagement, open channels of communication between hostile nations, and combat deep-seated prejudices between peoples. The Olympic Games, football’s (soccer’s) World Cup, and other international sports competitions can also serve diplomatic purposes both within and among nations. [Gale CENGAGE Learning]
A deeper reading into the use of soccer diplomacy in an attempt to ease tensions on Cyprus.
This time (Nov. 5, 2013), Zurich has become a stage of soccer diplomacy and dance. As is known, the Cypriot Turks have been restricted in the soccer matches they can play. In an attempt to overcome this tragic situation and to clear the way for the sporting activities of young people, the Cyprus Turkish Soccer Federation (KTFF) and the Cyprus Soccer Federation (KOP) held a meeting with the participation of FIFA authorities at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich; they reached an agreement on a draft text which offered up a roadmap. The end of isolation in the soccer business in the north depends on integration with KOP. But this is not an easy option for the Cypriot Turks; it is even harder considering that the issue is getting hotter at the settlement and negotiation table. In addition, a settlement out of a soccer initiative will lift the isolation, but it will also lead to the emergence of a guardianship setting, because integration with KOP in the south will give an impression that the north has accepted the domination and “sovereignty” of the south. [Today’s Zaman]
Roma restaurant project sours in Slovenia | BBC News http://t.co/HohmTkKHA2 #gastrodiplomacy
— IPDGC (@IPDGC) November 13, 2013
As Myanmar continues its political transition, national hero General Aung San will reappear on banknotes in a symbolic gesture.
The vice-president of the Central Bank of Myanmar, Daw Khin Saw Oo, told lower house MPs on Wednesday that the bank was planning to issue new banknotes featuring the image of Burma’s national hero, Aung San, as well as other prominent Burmese leaders. Khin Saw Oo was speaking in response to a proposal by MP Thein Nyunt who said that his proposal had been accepted due to “changes in the political environment”. [DVB]
The United States and China are holding the fourth Consultation on People-to-People Exchanges next month.
The United States and China will hold their fourth Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) in Washington, DC on November 21, 2013. CPE is a gathering of high-level officials and members of civil society to bolster both diplomacy and soft power in an effort to strengthen U.S.-China relations. At the 2010 inaugural session, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “[The U.S.-China relationship] must extend beyond the halls of governments to our homes, businesses, and schools. We need Chinese and Americans of all ages, professions and walks of life to get to know one another, to understand each other better, to connect and collaborate.” [Asia Society via PDiN]
#YESAcademySudan first day rehearsals and works summary video. #CulturalDiplomacy #Sudan @americanvoices https://t.co/k4MB1PCLsh
— YES Academy Sudan (@YESAcademySudan) November 13, 2013