Wednesday, May 4, 2016

How to approach Chinese public diplomacy?

News from VUB, University of Brussels,

Workshop as a prelude to Confucius Institute Launch 

To strengthen the educational and research cooperation between China and Belgium and to support and promote the development of Chinese language and cultural education, the Confucius Institute of China and VUB will establish a Confucius Institute at VUB. The launch event will take place on Wednesday 18 May 2016. Today a preliminary event took place, discussing the different Chinese approach to public diplomacy. 
After a general explanation of what public diplomacy means, experts discussed how China’s diplomacy is put into practice. The discussion focused on the crucial vehicle of China’s public diplomacy, the Confucius Institutes. Issues and working points were discussed as well as how to improve all of this in the future.

The panel featured Jan Cornelis (Vice Rector VUB and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Confucius Institute), Prof. Wei Shen, Prof. Xinning Song, prof. Hans De Wolf, Dr. Stefanie Weil, Dr. Duncan Freeman, Prof. Luk van Langenhove and Emeritus Professor Richard Higgott.
The necessity to address and understand Chinese diplomacy is important considering that China is contributing to research projects and knowledge production, not only by itself but jointly with partners in Europe such as the European Union and member state governments, and also engages with European universities, think tanks and other institutions. There are both convergent and divergent European and Chinese ideas on how this relationship should work. Thus a number of renowned specialists from China and Europe discuss the distinct Western or European and Chinese ideas of China’s cultural diplomacy, its rising power and its capacity to influence knowledge production.

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