Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
A Chinese commentator pitched the idea of “warm power” as China’s approach to its neighbors in Southeast Asia, a combination of cooperation, shared economic interests and respect for sovereignty.
These diplomatic activities of the new Chinese leadership have shown the “warm power” of China’s diplomacy. In international politics, we have heard enough about “hard power,” “soft power” and “smart power.” While these concepts of power are endowed with a Cold War mentality, “warm power” has shown a willingness to aspire to a higher realm. The word “warm” stresses communicating with other countries through means of mutual understanding and eliminating any alerts and estrangement by taking a sincere attitude. In the 21st century, “warm power” should become a new concept for communication between countries. [Global Times]
The White House’s use of #GetCovered to promote the launch of the online health insurance marketplace has been its most successful hashtag campaign to date.
The #GetCovered hashtag is faring significantly better than similar White House Twitter campaigns, Topsy found, including the #My2k campaign urging Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class but not for the wealthiest Americans. That hashtag referred to a tax hike of roughly $2,200 the average middle class family would face if the tax cuts were not extended … Topsy ran a keyword analysis of tweets using the #GetCovered hashtag to determine whether the tweets were positive or negative. A score of 50 out of 100 essentially means there are an equal number of positive and negative tweets, according to a spokeswoman. The sentiment score for #GetCovered has hovered around 80 out of 100 since HealthCare.gov launched Oct. 1 and was at about 90 out of 100 on Tuesday. [Mashable]
— Stephanie Willerton (@stephwillerton) October 24, 2013
Chinese policymakers are changing course of their public diplomacy initiatives from multiplying at all costs and copying others approaches to being more strategic and organically grown.
As Chinese policy makers want to get public diplomacy right, they commission much public diplomacy research and encourage the domestic debate on the topic. Scholars extensively study and discuss other countries’ public diplomacy theories and practices, in particular those of the US. The Chinese government does not simply copy foreign public diplomacy policies, however. It critically examines Western approaches, rejects, selects and adapts Western ideas and strategies to the Chinese political and cultural context, and simultaneously develops its own concepts and approaches, resulting in ‘public diplomacy with Chinese characteristics’. [University of Nottingham China Policy Institute Blog]
— Eduardo Oliveira (@eduoliveira98) October 24, 2013
Taiwan launched concerted efforts to promote its culture and, thus, soft power this year, including push for tourism, educational exchange, gastrodiplomacy campaigns and pop culture outreach as well as the creation of Taiwan Academies.
The Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Foreign Policy Report released on March 18 this year calls for promoting democracy, freedom and equitable prosperity as a mode of enriching Taiwan’s “viable diplomacy” by way of soft power and cultural diplomacy. By linking its’ existence to norms-based values of democracy, Taiwan has maintained the United States and other democratic allies’ support, with arms sales being a prime example, that it could not have been sustained otherwise given diplomatic pressures from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). [AsiaEye]
— Donna Oglesby (@Winnowingfan) October 24, 2013
Why did the same methods of American soft power and democracy promotion work during the Velvet Revolution of the 1990s but cause backlash in the Middle East in the 2000s?
Hence, before future U.S. administrations lies an extremely difficult choice where American soft power is at stake. If democracy promotion initiatives cause, in some countries, democratic backlash, which in turn damages U.S. soft power, is it better to cease the pro-democracy efforts and allocate the funds and efforts elsewhere? But then, without the democracy aid, would all prospects for a democratic breakthrough in the given country be lost? How many missed opportunities for democratization would such a decision generate? In a similar vein, one can ask: What would Czech democracy look like today in a parallel universe, where the United States provided no support for democracy before and after the Velvet Revolution? Unfortunately, one can only speculate about the answers to these questions. [The National Interest]
Kimchi-making was recommended for the UNESCO’s intangible cultural asset list, and will be voted on in December.
The committee said kimjang traditions have helped reaffirm Korean identity and strengthen unity among families and communities. Listing the traditions “could contribute to the visibility of intangible cultural heritage by enhancing dialogue among different communities nationally and internationally that practice foodways that similarly make creative use of natural resources,” it added. The final decision will be made at a full session of the committee in Baku, Azerbaijan on Dec. 2-7 but it has never so far rejected a recommendation at this stage. [Chosun Ilbo]
The BBC explains how Russia uses food to deal with geopolitical spats.