Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 10:17 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 10:17 | SYDNEY

Chinese public diplomacy


Fergus Hanson


29 July 2009 14:35

China's Ambassador to the UK, Fu Ying, (formerly Ambassador to Australia) thinks China needs to do more on the public diplomacy front. In a recent interview with Xinhua she said:

'No country in this world is perfect, and China also has its own problems at the current stage of development, thus through public diplomacy, we should make the outside world not only learn our achievements, but also our active attitude in facing and resolving our problems,' said Fu.

She also said the public diplomacy needs 'quick and early response' so that China's voice can be heard by the international community at the first moment and the world know about the truth timely.

(Of course, China has tended to take a slightly different approach when it comes to informing its own citizens.) 

Interestingly, she seemed to suggest that one area that needed targeting was the current overestimation of China's power:

Recalling her recent communication with the UK youth at the Eton College and Oxford University, Fu found many students there consider China a world power. A poll also showed that more than 80 percent of Europeans interviewed considered China as the second-most powerful nation after the United States. 'This reflects a big difference with our own evaluations and the actual situation of China as a developing nation,' said Fu.

China isn't alone in failing to maximise its impact through public diplomacy. The Lowy Institute report Australia's Diplomatic Deficit found Australia's public diplomacy to be suffering from a conceptual muddle, a lack of integration with international policy development, poor coordination, inadequate measurement of its effectiveness and inadequate resources.

Photo by Flickr user steadfast1898, used under a Creative Commons license.