Saturday, March 22, 2014

March 20-22

-From: Max Seddon, "Russia’s Propagandist-In-Chief Went On A Junket To Meet U.S. Security Officials," BuzzFeed; via IL; see also


Did the Obama administration enable the invasion of Crimea? - Tom Nichols, "The United States is the richest, more powerful, most culturally pervasive (and yes, admired, whether people admit it or not) country in the world, and we should act like it — including organizing our European allies to show Moscow what it reallylooks like when East-West political and economic relations actually fail, and when the U.S. and its nearest friends decide to start acting like they’re in charge again. This kind of sharp, sudden divide with Europe and the West will — I hope — have a serious effect on Russian politics, especially on the already tenuous generational divide in the Russian polity.

If we’re going to fight for the future of Russia, our policies and our public diplomacy have to be aimed at the people who are going to make that future. Russians are used to traveling at will, interacting with Europe and the rest of the world, and participating in global life as citizens of a normal country. If Vladimir Putin prefers that they no longer be capable of doing so, then far be it from us to stop him from inflicting misery on his own people. But we should make clear, every single day, that Russia’s misfortunes in 2014 and after are the sole responsibility of one man." Image from entry, with caption: We Russian liberators are so popular we have to wear masks so people won’t kiss us.

Ukraine and the Clinton-Pinchuk Connection. Reeping the Spoils of Regime Change - Manlio Dinucci, "At the table in Kiev where the formal agreement between the government, the opposition, the European Union and Russia was negotiated, there officially sat no representative of the powerful international oligarchy which – with closer ties to Washington and NATO than to Brussels and the EU – is pushing Ukraine towards the West. An emblematic case is

Viktor Pinchuk, steel magnate, 54, ranked by Forbes Magazine among the richest men in the world. ... [H]e created the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation, said to be the largest private Ukrainian 'philanthropic organization.' It is through this foundation that Pinchuk bonded with the Clintons, by supporting the Clinton Global Initiative established in 2005 by Bill and Hillary, whose mission is to 'convene global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.' ... To further strengthen his ties with the United States and the West, Pinchuk launched the Yalta European Strategy (YES), 'Eastern Europe’s largest social institution of public diplomacy,' whose official objective is to 'help Ukraine develop into a modern, democratic and economically efficient country.' Thanks to Pinchuk’s financial capacity (he just splurged more than $ 5 million for his 50th birthday celebration in a posh French ski resort), the YES was in a position to set up a wide network of international contacts , which came to light at the annual meeting held in Yalta. It brought together 'over 200 politicians, diplomats, statesmen, journalists, analysts and business leaders from more than 20 countries.'” Image from entry, with caption: Viktor Pinchuk [and] Elena

TTIP of the iceberg for energy: growing expectation gaps for EU-US trade deal - Éanna Kelly, "Energy trade negotiations hold promise for investment and innovation, but doubt lies under the surface[.] ... Following the completion of the fourth round of negotiation last week in Brussels (10 – 14 March), the profile of TTIP [Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership] is growing. Previous rounds included around 30 negotiators on either side. This time around, over 100 US experts came to Brussels to discuss the package, as the detail gets more technical. A host of lawyers, lobbyists and other professional services firms lie in the wings too. Public hearings and stakeholder consultations are fast becoming the norm, prompting a member of the European Parliament (MEP), Catherine Stihler, to ask for the creation of a special full time TTIP committee watchdog. The visibility of the two leaders

of the negotiating teams – Ignacio Garcia Bercero for the EU and Dan Mullaney for the US – is increasing, in an apparent effort to increase public diplomacy. Much of the public interest stems from the closed-door nature of the negotiations and the piecemeal release of documents from both sides. But this feature is 'part and parcel' of trade negotiations, says Peter van Ham, senior research fellow at the Clingendael Institute of International Relations." Image from entry, with caption: TTIP chief negotiators – Dan Mullaney (left) for the US and Ignacio Garcia Bercero (right) for the EU

China’s First Lady - Jay Wang, PD News – CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Like their president husbands, first ladies are increasingly expected to enter the foray of pop culture, especially when it comes to engaging with a younger demographic. Ms. Peng certainly doesn’t have the on-camera stiffness typical of many Chinese officials. But to what extent she can venture into the wider media world remains to be seen. If Michelle Obama is, as The New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer wrote, “the embodiment of the contemporary, urban, well-heeled, middle-aged American woman,” what Peng Liyuan stands for both at home and abroad is less clear. This is in fact indicative of a larger challenge facing China’s soft power efforts, as the country’s identity is in constant flux. Amidst rapid change, there has been a lack of a clear, compelling, consistent narrative about what the country represents and its global role. While Mrs. Obama talks freely about her PTA meetings, restaurant choices, films she likes and fitness routines, we don’t know what Ms. Peng can and will share to engage the broader public. We may find out more about her as a host during Michelle Obama’s visit to China this week." See also.

Opportunities and Challenges in U.S.-Japan and U.S.-Republic of Korea Alliances – Testimony - (BGF) - "The Eurasia Review recently published the testimony provided by Daniel R. Russel, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, which he presented to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. ... [Russel:] Chairman Cardin and Members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss this important topic. Early in his first term, President Obama began implementing his vision for the Asia-Pacific rebalance, based on America’s enduring stake in a prosperous and stable region. The United States has been, we are, and we will remain a Pacific power. In the second term, the Administration is building out this strategy.

The Department of State is focused on dedicating diplomatic, public diplomacy, and assistance resources to the region in a way that is commensurate with the truly comprehensive nature of our engagement. And under Secretary Kerry we are intensifying our support for U.S. companies, climate and energy cooperation, people-to-people exchanges, youth and exchange programs, education, women’s empowerment, and other initiatives." Image from entry

In the wake of the Korea-Japan relationship improve the [editorial] Korea-Japan-US talks [Google "translation" from the Japanese] - South Korea Japan and the United States three countries summit meeting is opened to (24, 25 days). Nuclear Security Summit period in the Netherlands, the South Korean government announced on the 21st. ... Favorability rating for Japan's worst in Korea. Korea-Japan relationship's house of cards if you do not mitigate this. But instead of thinking only political risk in the country, there is a need to look at the perspective of public diplomacy (public diplomacy). In order for the three countries summit is to step in improving relations with Korea-Japan summit meeting, resolution of the Japanese military comfort women victims problem is essential."

PacNet #20R -- Response to PacNet #20 "Understand Abe, but Focus on Japan" - Ken Yates, "Pacific Forum's PacNets continue to stimulate constructive thoughts, and Grant Newsham's latest (PacNet #20) continues that tradition. Newsham's suggestion that Americans should be paying more attention to broader Japanese thinking than only in the narrow thrust of what appears to be strengthening nationalist sentiments of a ruling class is right on target. As a former diplomat concerned with 'Public Diplomacy' aspects of Japan's relations with the US, I share his sentiment that we have lost contact with the wider culture."

BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin shoal: Test for MDT - Ellen Tordesillas, "[Comment by:] Mannie - March 20, 2014 11:38 pm Would the US come to Phil’s rescue if the conflict escalates with China? Not sure. Between the Ukraine crisis and the South China Sea’s conflict, the US pays more attention to the former which for her is a more priority. Assuming that it’s very expensive to extract the deposits in the areas, those tiny islands could be used as bases which China wants. It’s a strategic military location. Ships pass through it. Also, it’s a nation’s pride that after all these troubles of asserting the claim, China would not give up easily to boost her image and prestige. Regarding hotline between two leaders, this is what Pnoy and the Chinese leader should consider. There are things that could be discussed in private that give positive results than public diplomacy."

3/15/14 What's Behind US Maneuvers Against Russia and China? - lizburbank, "Rise and Fall of history's deadliest 'new world order' dictatorship: One glaring sign of US weakness and desperation is the hysterical, changing-minute-by-minute, 360 degree lies, projecting US-sponsored terror onto its recipients. Desperation apparently makes them seriously overate the success of their information war control and mass dumbification, or they missed the recent Gallup-Pew poll showing the majority of the world considers the US the greatest threat to world peace, severely misreading the 'balance of forces' - or believing their own 'public diplomacy/strategic communications? [']"

Fulbright regional meeting to take place in Taiwan - James Lee, Focus Taiwan News Channel: "The 2014 Fulbright East Asia Pacific Meeting will take place in Taiwan from March 26-28 for the first time, the organizers said Friday. The event,organized by the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange, will allow American officials from throughout the Asia-Pacific region to discuss a variety of matters related to the administration of the United States' prestigious academic exchange program, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said in a statement. This is the first time that Taiwan has hosted the meeting, which takes place once every three to four years, said the AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties. The conference will include presentations by key public diplomacy officials, including Susan Stevenson, deputy assistant secretary of State for Public Diplomacy in the U.S. State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, the statement said. Stevenson will meet with various Taiwanese officials to discuss and affirm the strength of the unofficial U.S.-Taiwan relationship, it added. According to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the foundation, established in 1964, has provided grants to some 1,300 American scholars to visit Taiwan and over 1,500 Taiwanese scholars to go to the U.S."

Study Abroad’s Time Has Arrived - Tara Sonenshine, "Good public diplomacy includes people-to-people engagement and the ideal scenario is to have more

youth coming to America and going overseas." Image from entry, with caption: A study by the SIT Study Abroad and Graduate Institute shows that participants of study abroad programs often make life-long commitments to education, healthcare, and globally conscious efforts that solve problems.

Art Dubai: Talking cultural diplomacy with art -- One night of art and ‘cultural diplomacy’ was held to complement a whole week of art as Dubai hosts its annual Art Dubai week - "Titled ‘A Night of Art’, the event was held at the US Consulate-General in Bur Dubai on Wednesday night. The consulate opened its doors to display the permanent pieces of art adorning the interiors. One of the dozens of artists on display was Professor of Photography at the American University in Dubai, Roberto Lopardo. His work ‘Mapping Dubai’, a time sequence that shows one photo taken per minute in a 24-hour cycle in Media City — an epic of 1440 photos — takes pride of place in the consulate’s waiting room.

Another notable work on display is a grouping of seven vivid panels, each representing one of the seven UAE emirates, painted by Dr Najat Meki and displayed in the consulate’s atrium. US Consul General Rob Waller was pleased to have Dr Meki and Lopardo at the consulate on Wednesday night to discuss their works with those in attendance. Lopardo’s work, which sits in a lightbox, was commissioned by the Consulate General in 2011 to mark the American government’s 40-year relationship with the UAE. The artwork coincided with the opening of the new Consulate General in the same year. Waller emphasised the role of art in diplomatic relations and cultural understanding — part of what is known as 'cultural diplomacy'. 'The United States places a great deal of emphasis on cultural diplomacy. For five decades, the Department of State’s Art in Embassies programme has played a leading role in US public diplomacy through a focused mission of vital cross-cultural dialogue and understanding through the visual arts and dynamic artist exchanges,' he said." Image from entry, with caption: "Mapping Dubai" by Roberto Lopardo hangs in the US Consulate-General’s waiting room

Religion and Public Diplomacy [Review of Religion and Public Diplomacy edited by Philip Seib, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN-13: 978-1-137-29111-0, 2013, 236pp., $90.00 (Hardcover List) - Peter Kovacs, "This volume adds depth to the U.S. Department of State's earnest, if naïve, attempts to more intelligently and effectively integrate religious variables into the overall American diplomatic effort. All ten essays amplify various aspects of engaging religious players and sentiments to further diplomatic goals. Readers interested in the intersection of religious values, leaders, and communities in the general endeavor of communicating or implementing public policy should read this collection.

The implications of these essays apply in many cross-cultural settings, both national and transnational, with international communications or public diplomacy. ... The idea of creating 'religion attaches' that Seib attributes to Secretary Madeline Albright, however, would be a serious error except in perhaps a few places like Pakistan, Indonesia, Honduras or Chad, to take examples where religious players, identities and issues are key fulcrums of analysis and action." Image from entry

Department of State Public Schedule, March 20, 2014 - "UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS RICHARD STENGEL 12:30 p.m. Under Secretary Stengel participates in a roundtable with journalists, at the Washington Foreign Press Center."

Un Caffè con Antonio Deruda - "Diplom@tic intervista oggi un ospite d’eccezione: Antonio Deruda, esperto di comunicazione e diplomazia. Deruda è consulente e docente di comunicazione. Specializzato in strategie online e uso dei social media in ambito istituzionale e internazionale. Insegna ai master dell’Università Luiss, della Business School del Sole 24 Ore e della SIOI. ... AD: Mi piace citare la definizione di diplomazia digitale che John Kerry ha dato poco tempo fa sul blog del Dipartimento di Stato USA: 'diplomazia efficace vuol dire mettere l’uso delle tecnologie al centro del nostro lavoro per portare avanti gli obiettivi di politica estera, per colmare il divario con i cittadini del mondo e per interagire sia con il pubblico straniero che con i nostri concittadini. Il termine diplomazia digitale è dunque ridondante.

È diplomazia, punto'. Ecco, io ritengo che le funzioni siano sostanzialmente quelle di un tempo. Anche la public diplomacy, il tentativo di comunicare e cercare di influenzare il pubblico straniero, non è un fenomeno nuovo portato dai social media, ma già consolidato da diversi anni. Sono cambiati gli strumenti a disposizione. E questo comporta necessariamente un aggiornamento delle competenze e dei metodi di lavoro. ... A mio giudizio Wikileaks o il Datagate non hanno molto a che fare con la Public Diplomacy. ... [T]v, radio e giornali restano fondamentali nelle strategie di comunicazione. Bisogna integrare più piattaforme e sviluppare la capacità di declinare i propri messaggi in base ai canali di diffusione e al pubblico di riferimento." Image from entry

Susan Rice and Richard Stengel promote State Department’s response to Putin’s propaganda machine, offer little help so far to BBG - BBG Watcher, BBG Watch: "U.S. National Security Advisor to President Obama Susan Rice and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel are promoting through social media State Department’s response to Putin’s propaganda machine. The Obama Administration has offered so far very little help to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees such journalistic media outlets as Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and the Voice of America (VOA)."

Voice of America Ukraine coverage improves as VOA correspondents assert themselves against management - BBG Watcher, BBG Watch: "BBG Watch has noticed some, although still sporadic and small, improvements in Voice of America (VOA) English news coverage of developments in Ukraine and Russia, which our sources attribute to VOA correspondents asserting themselves against neglectful and hostile executives."

Russian Forces Seize VOA Cameras - BBG Watcher, BBG Watch: "Russian troops in Crimea have seized cameras belonging to the Voice of America near the Belbek military base, where Ukrainian troops were ordered to surrender Saturday by Russian forces."

RFE/RL Mourns Slain Baghdad Bureau Chief - "Dr. Mohammed Bdaiwi Owaid Al-Shammari, the Baghdad bureau chief of RFE/RL's Iraq ServiceRadio Free Iraq (RFI), was shot and killed at a checkpoint near his office this morning in an incident

that company managers have called tragic, senseless and shocking." Image from entry, with caption: RFE/RL Baghdad Bureau Chief Mohammed Bdaiwi Owaid Al-Shammari

IBB-initiated BBG decision to cut RFE/RL programs to the Balkans and Iraq makes The Jerusalem Post - BBG Watcher, BBG Watch: "An article in The Jerusalem Post by Caroline B. Glick, 'Our world: Why Obama will not change gears,' makes a reference to a decision by the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to end Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) broadcasts to the Balkans and broadcasts to Iraq by RFE/RL’s Radio Free Iraq. While the author may see much larger political motives behind this move and is strongly critical of the Obama Administration, we have pointed out that to a large degree this particular decision was initiated by executives of the BBG’s International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) to protect their jobs and their bureaucracy from expected budget cuts. Instead of cutting their own vast bureaucracy and support services, which control 34 percent of the entire BBG budget and which have grown in positions by 37 percent in the last seven years, these officials proposed instead cutting U.S. news and information programs to strategic parts of the world. They do this every year and get the BBG in trouble with Congress as well as with public opinion abroad. Neither members of Congress nor foreign journalists can understand such shortsightedness and suspect deeper political motives. To a degree they may be right, but to a large degree these decisions are made by bureaucrats who simply want to protect their jobs, salaries, and bonuses without thinking of course of America’s strategic interests or audiences deprived of access to uncensored and balanced news without propaganda. ... Several members of Congress have written letters to BBG Chairman Jeff Shell questioning the decision, which was most likely made even before he recently came on board and can be entirely blamed on the executive staff of the International Broadcasting Bureau, where Shell and the renewed BBG board has changed the management team. ... Hopefully, Jeff Shell and the new board will be much more careful in reviewing recommendations they get from IBB officials and will not allow them to damage U.S. national security interests and public diplomacy image abroad."

On Europe’s odd performance over Ukraine – - Rosa Balfour, "[N]o-one in Europe or the US is prepared to follow up on the full escalation menu, as the Syrian 'red lines' demonstrated to Putin very recently. In the EU, during the past two weeks those dragging their feet on sanctions were unwilling to pay the costs on energy imports, business contracts and the financial sector. Tough talk may be 'right' but could backfire on the EU’s credibility. Using diplomacy to talk through the key points with Moscow could have been the other option. This would have required swallowing some bitter pills, as Russia will not back away from its strategic control of Eastern Europe. Some form of compromise between EU and Russian-led initiatives towards the region would have had to be sought for the longer term. Many in the EU, including public opinion, would have disagreed with this approach. Public diplomacy, therefore, should have been carefully crafted to make it clear that the EU’s goal was to restore international law and protect people’s rights and lives in that region, not to sweet talk Russia."

Israel’s diplomatic corp labor strike continues - Ryan Torok, "Dissatisfied with its wages and working conditions, Israel’s diplomatic corps has been on strike for more than two weeks, and the ramifications of the labor sanctions are being felt even in Los Angeles. 'We’re in an official labor dispute. We’re doing most of our work internally right now. We can’t provide services to the community, unless it’s life-or-death matters. We’re very curtailed [in] what we can do right now,' Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles David Siegel said in a recent interview at the local consulate. ... During a visit on March 13, the local consulate’s offices, which are located in West L.A., were eerily quiet. The six windows in the consular affairs wing that typically look out onto a queue of community members waiting for notary services, certification of public documents or other services were dark. Staff members permitted to handle internal matters only — e-mails, training and office-organizing — left their neckties at home, and many wore jeans. 'We’ve all cleaned our desks,' joked Dani Gadot, consul of consular affairs. And, with not much else to do, they gave this reporter all the time he needed. The L.A.-based diplomats said that while there are several issues that the diplomatic corps would like to see addressed in any labor deal that is reached, their primary concern is with compensation, specifically pay adjustments for people serving overseas. The base salary for

a consul general in North America is $60,000. Dana Erlich, consul for culture, media and public diplomacy, said that people serving in the corps do not earn enough to support themselves. Erlich, whose passion for Israel convinced her to put aside dreams of becoming an artist to serve in the diplomatic corps, said that the country she loves neglects its diplomats. 'This dispute started because we [the diplomats] feel that we’re not a priority of the state,' Erlich said in an interview at her office.
Siegel agrees that the diplomatic corps is underappreciated. He said that the body of foreign-service workers are vital to Israeli military efficiency, the country’s standing in the Diaspora and more. He pointed to the consulate’s involvement in a recent economic pact between California and Israel as evidence of his organization’s accomplishments." Image from entry, with caption: Israel Consul General David Siegel. See also

‘Israel Now News’ founder gives talk - "Simi Hills Christian Church will host Josh Reinstein as he talks about the current conditions in Israel at 6:30 p.m. Sun., March 23 at the church, 4307 Walnut Ave., Simi Valley. Reinstein is the producer and founder of 'Israel Now News,' a 30-minute weekly TV news magazine that is broadcast to 35 million viewers in 191 countries. He is also the director of the Allies Christian Caucus for the Israel Knesset, serving as an adviser to the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs."

New Ambassadors course at Haifa University - "The 2014 academic course to combat the delegitimization of Israel has now started at Haifa University. ... [T]he program has won praise from public officials in the Foreign Ministry and current program coordinator Maureen Hayo - Hemo even represented the program in two various discussions held at the Knesset: A meeting of the Caucus on Public Diplomacy for academic boycott of Israeli universities and meeting of the Committee of Immigrant Absorption Anti-Semitism on the net."

One Arab woman in Israel Independence Day event - Shlomi Eldar, "The ceremony marking Israel’s 66th Independence Day this year will be dedicated to the 'Era of Women.' For the first time, all the people participating in the traditional torch-lighting ceremony will

be women. ... This year, the committee that selected the women to light the torches was headed by the Acting Director of the Center for Public Diplomacy Yitzhak Sonnenschein. ... Among the 14 women who are supposed to represent .... the diverse mosaic that is Israeli society is just a single Arab woman, Hindiya Suliman from the Bedouin village of Bu'eine Nujeidat." Image from entry, with caption: People watch planes from the Israeli air force fly over Jerusalem during celebrations marking Israel's 63rd Independence Day in Jerusalem, May 10, 2011.

US Res. on Sri Lanka: Effective use of LLRC report to globalize issues - Daya Gamage, Asian Tribune: "Sri Lanka government's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report has become fodder for the United States and Navi Pillay's UN human rights office to strategically internationalize Sri Lanka's internal issues through the US-sponsored resolution scheduled for debate and possible adoption on March 26 at the UNHRC in Geneva. ... In the First Draft the drafters of the resolution expressed their own opinion to clearly display 'reaffirm demilitarization', but in the Second Draft the authors very cleverly changed the choice of language to read Recalling the constructive recommendations contained in the Commission’s report

demilitarize the north of Sri Lanka brushing the LLRC report on Sri Lanka's face. ... [From the Second Draft:]  Sri Lanka has absolutely no choice but to face the consequences of its own making: allowing the activists, the former 'material supporters' to the LTTE which is a designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO), to be the voice of the Sri Lanka Tamils; depending on lobbying firms to help in its image building because of its deficiency in the areas of public diplomacy and strategic communication; allowing the activists within the Global Tamil Diaspora to dominate the narrative of Sri Lankan issues; and allowing 'international players' to dictate on the domestic administrative arrangement which is the sole responsibility of any sovereign nation." Image from entry, with caption: Australia to give hand to Lanka at UNHRC Session

Editorial: Woe betide any mishap in AB's China trip: We should treat with caution the PM's idea of sending the All Blacks on visit our biggest trade partner - "Those who cling to the notion that sports and politics should not mix must be having palpitations. The Prime Minister wants to send the All Blacks to China to further boost links with this country's biggest trading partner. The All Blacks' coach, Steve Hansen, seems ready to go along with this bit of sports diplomacy despite his team's congested schedule. Clearly, we have come a long way since 1981 when the separation of sport and politics reached its apogee with the tumultuous Springbok tour. Yet there is reason to be just a little cautious about how far we should go. Sports diplomacy has been pushed first and foremost by the United States. It gained momentum with the success of its ping-pong diplomacy with China in the 1970s. This exchange of table tennis players led to State Department programmes, promoted through US embassies, based on the belief that the universal passion for sport was a way to transcend socio-cultural differences. Sportspeople and nations, so the theory goes, can be introduced to each other without the economic, political and military issues that burden traditional diplomacy. The American approach has been backed by the likes of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who says 'sport is a language everyone of us can speak'. This has encouraged an increasing recognition of its power as a tool in countries' public diplomacy. Not acknowledged to anything like the same extent is sport's ability to create divisions. Most infamously, the hurling of insults and roughing up of fans at a qualifying match for soccer's 1970 World Cup between El Salvador and Honduras sparked a shortlived war between the two countries. In that case, sport solidified an existing division. But it is also possible for it to taint previously strong relationships. Take the aftermath at prime ministerial level of Trevor Chappell's under-arm delivery, the final act of a one-day cricket international between Australia and New Zealand. Or the collateral damage to relations between France and Ireland arising from the goal orchestrated by Thierry Henry's so-called Hand of Frog during a 2009 World Cup qualification play-off. China will be far from surprised over New Zealand using the All Blacks as a diplomatic tool. Subsequent to ping-pong diplomacy, Beijing has become accustomed to using sport to further its own ends. ... Already, the All Blacks are accustomed to playing matches to promote rugby in new markets. Last year, it was Japan. Previously, it has been Hong Kong, while the US looms as a future port of call. So, too, at the Prime Minister's request, does China for a role of more fundamental importance to New Zealand. Woe betide that any on-field or off-field mishap affects our rapidly blossoming trading relationship with that country."

Government to boost HE policy role with think-tanks - Yojana Sharma, "China's Ministry of Education has released a new plan to boost the role of universities in advising government, including setting up special university-based centres and think-tanks to carry out research for ministries and contribute to policy-making. ... Last month, for example, China announced that it would strengthen a national think-tank

on the South China Sea, based at Nanjing University in Jiangsu province, as part of a strategy to bolster China's territorial claims. The Collaborative Innovation Center for South China Sea Studies, established in 2012, has already attracted top researchers. It has added 41 PhD tutors and plans to support some 100 doctoral students and 300 masters students within four years. ... Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, which is linked to the Hainan provincial government, said Chinese think-tanks traditionally placed more emphasis on historical studies than legal issues. 'The centre will facilitate China's ambition of having a bigger say in the world as well as its public diplomacy, Wu said." Image from

Tanzania exports to China up by 45pc - Abduel Elinaza, Daily News: [T]he China Public Diplomacy Association, Vice President, Mr Lv Fengding said Tanzania was advised to improve its tourism infrastructure in an effort to tap more Chinese tourists."

Mandela’s diplomacy of national interest - Young Tshabalala, "Mandela ensured the implementation of foreign policies consistent with the needs and dreams of the people. Foreign policy makers were not to be in isolation and separated from the realities of the people living in poverty. This ethical consideration ensured that public servants could taste the fruits of a functional government. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation adheres to the key goal of ensuring that South Africa is a Constitutional State governed by the rule of law and concerned with promoting the interest of its citizens in all spheres of diplomatic decision making. Particularly, public diplomacy plays a role in fostering greater trust and understanding of our foreign policy goals. Despite the inequalities that exist in South Africa and wiping away memories of the past it is imperative that citizens can have the opportunity to be involved in conversations that influence the decision making of policy makers. Eliminating the gap between ordinary civilians and foreign policy makers is an ideal platform in creating a responsive and engaging public participation in the foreign affairs of the country."

'All that Korea' needs to be promoted - Chung Min-uck, Thanks to the rapid economic growth in the 1970s and 80s, democratization of its political system and, of late, 'hallyu,' or the Korean cultural wave, Korea is becoming better known globally. However, Hahn Choong-hee, 54, former director-general of the Cultural Affairs Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said now is the time to start promoting the real substance of Korea, which is the backbone of the miraculous outcome achieved in such a short period of time. 'The first wave was about reaching out to foreigners and letting them understand that ‘Korea matters,’' said Hahn during a recent interview. “But since we have successfully fulfilled this goal, we now have to explain to them about our 5,000 years of history that made those achievements possible.” The career diplomat said Korea’s unique humanistic tradition, along with scientific achievements and advanced balance-of-power political system during former Korean dynasties, laid the foundation for the current development.

'Many foreigners see Korea’s development as a temporal phenomenon caused by favorable external environment or a mere luck,' said Hahn. 'But that’s wrong. Those images must be changed via ‘public diplomacy.' Public diplomacy, which seeks to win hearts and minds of foreigners using various 'soft power' assets such as culture and historical experiences, became an important aspect in foreign policy because nowadays no diplomacy can be effectively conducted if a country is not favorably viewed by the people from other countries. Government’s recent investment in 'Korean studies' also comes in line with the move to let the world know the diverse aspects of 'all that Korea,' he said. 'Ultimately, what we want via our public diplomacy is a two-way communication between other countries,' Hahn said. 'So to say, we want to enjoy together each other’s valuable assets.' The diplomat said government plans to first reach out to foreigners living in Korea in getting through in-depth and comprehensive knowledge about Korea to the outside world." Hahn Choong-hee image from entry

Buddha statues and Korea's favorite song on stage in performances this weekend - Park Ji-won, Arirang News: The Korea National Contemporary Dance Company brings its modern dance piece "Bul-ssang" to the stage this weekend. 'Bul-ssang' is the Korean word for a Buddhist statue, but it sounds the same as the Korean word for 'pity.' The company delves into the double meaning of the title with iconic dance moves adapted from traditional dances from various Asian countries. Renowned Korean DJ Soulscape and prominent pop artist Choi Jeong-hwa also helped create the performance. ... The work will be presented in France next year to commemorate the year of cultural exchange between Korea and France. And on another stage [:] Regional variations on Korea's most beloved song, 'Arirang' are showcased along with traditional Korean dance. 'Arirang' is a traditional Korean folk song that is on UNESCO's World Intangible Heritage for Humanity list and there are thousands of variations on the lyrics and melody. ... This special performance was organized by the Senior Public Diplomacy Group, with support from the foreign ministry, to further promote the song and for the sake of cultural diversity and preservation."

India should push forward in developing ties with W.Asia: Experts - ANI, "Experts, observers and analysts attending a three-day seminar titled 'Transformations in West Asia - The Next Steps,['] have opined that India should not take a backseat in further developing its relations with West Asia and the extended neighbourhood, namely nations who are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). ... Manoj Joshi, Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), which was one of the sponsors of the event, the other being the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, said that the security dynamics of West Asia is forever changing, and security dilemmas are old."

Burnished or Tarnished — I.J. Singh - "During Manmohan Singh’s tenure deserving Sikhs have emerged in India’s public space: The man steering India’s economic progress is a Sikh, Montek Singh Ahluwalia; in this decade for the first time not one but two Sikh Generals commanded India’s vast army, Generals J.J. Singh and now Bikram Singh; India’s face of public diplomacy has been a Sikh, Hardip Singh Puri.

These are not small measures of progress in India where society is increasingly defined by corruption, nepotism and cronyism. He has transformed the nation economically but on his watch it has descended the depths of a corrupt society faster than at any other time in recent history." Uncaptioned image from entry

Turkey: Twitter allows 'character assassination' - Suzan Fraser, "Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt used Twitter on Saturday to tell Turkey its efforts to block access to the social media network were 'stupid.' He said the blockade 'isn't working and also backfiring heavily.'

A statement from the Turkish government's Public Diplomacy office said the network was engaged in 'systematic character assassinations' for hosting accounts where the leaked the wiretapped recordings have been posted. It said the audio tapes were 'illegally acquired' or 'fake and fabricated.'" Image from entry, with caption: Members of the Turkish Youth Union hold cartoons depicting Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a protest against a ban on Twitter, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, March 21, 2014. Turkey's attempt to block access to Twitter appeared to backfire on Friday with many tech-savvy users circumventing the ban and suspicions growing that the prime minister was using court orders to suppress corruption allegations against him and his government. Cartoon in center reads: Erdogan, left, to his Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek " we will rip out the roots of Twitter." Gokcek: "don't say it."

Pena sends Mexico's diplomatic reply - Jeffrey Simpson, The Globe and Mail: "Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has cancelled a trip to Canada in June to signal his country’s unhappiness with the Harper government’s refusal to talk about removing visas for Mexicans coming to Canada. ... The Mexicans recall that their citizens did not need visas before 2008. They believe another refugee surge is highly unlikely with the introduction of Canada’s new refugee policy, which makes it easier for Ottawa to reject weak claims. Mr. Harper doesn’t like being pushed – he frequently digs in his heels when criticized publicly, and may well resent the aggressive and public diplomacy employed by Mexican officials against the visas. (Major Canadian business and tourism associations, some of whose members have lost business from the drop in Mexican visitors, have also decried the visas.)"

Greg Rickford could bring more collegial approach to Natural Resources portfolio - Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press, "[N]ow the new federal Natural Resources minister, Rickford, 46, has spent a lot of time dealing with

First Nations issues in Ontario's rugged and remote northwest. ... His record tells something of what he brings to the new job. ... During a housing crisis in Attiwaspiskat in the winter of 2011-12, Rickford stepped in to handle the public diplomacy for then-minister John Duncan, managing to lower the temperature somewhat on a battle that was threatening to shatter the relationship between First Nations and the Harper government." Image from entry, with caption: Greg Rickford leaves Rideau Hall after he was sworn in as Minister of Natural Resources, Wednesday March 19, 2014 in Ottawa.

Independence referendum to decide Scotland’s future - T.S Blanchard, "On September 18, 2014, roughly 4 million Scottish voters will head to the polls to decide whether or not Scotland should remain in the United Kingdom or become an independent country. The Scottish Independence Referendum Bill was passed by the country’s Parliament

on November 14, 2013 and received Royal Assent on December 17, 2013. ... 'If it’s feasible in the U.K., it should be feasible in Spain,' said Albert Royo, secretary general of Diplocat, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia, a public-private body charged with building support for Catalan’s independence vote." Image from entry, with caption: The independence referendum for Scotland will be held on September 18, 2014.

The Daily: Considering Cultural Diplomacy’s Roots: Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day - Michael Ardaiolo,

Fireside Chat: Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal (UN Department of Public Information Secretary General) -
"Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal of Austria is the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.

Prior to joining Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Senior Management Team, he had been Spokesman and Head of the Department for Communication and Information of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs. Mr. Launsky-Tieffenthal brings to the position 30 years of experience within the Austrian Foreign Service, particularly in Asia, North America and the Middle East, with responsibilities ranging from public diplomacy and development cooperation to press and information." Uncaptioned image from entry

Women in CE Career Forum Tickets On Sale Now - "Women in CE has announced that its third annual Women in CE Career Enhancement Forum will take place June 24 at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, as part of CE Week.

The all-day event will feature a networking breakfast, sessions, workshops, and keynote speakers, before wrapping up with a closing reception. The opening keynote will feature Charlotte Beers, the longtime business executive who served as Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Bush Administration from 2001 to 2003." Image from entry, with caption: Women in CE keynoter Charlotte Beers' book


Iran Builds Fake US Aircraft Carrier for 'Propaganda Attack' - Tom Porter,
Iran has built a mock-up of a US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, which experts believe could be blown up in a staged propaganda exercise. Newly released commercial satellite images show the model

under construction in a shipyard near Bandar Abbas on the Persian GulfImage from entry, with caption: The USS Abraham Lincoln on maneuvers in the Persian Gulf in 2012.

Ukrainian Nationalists Hand Russians Propaganda Coup With Video of Assault - Robert Mackey, New York Times: Since a coalition of Ukrainian opposition groups took control of Independence Square in Kiev and held it long enough to undermine the authority of President Viktor Yanukovych, the Russian government and news media outlets under Kremlin control have consistently focused on the part played by far-right, nationalist demonstrators who manned the barricades there during deadly clashes with the police. To counter the perception fostered in Moscow that the interim government in Kiev, which took power after Mr. Yanukovych fled the country, is led by neo-Nazis and fascist thugs, pro-Western Ukrainian activists have drawn attention to voices of moderation and tolerance in their coalition. One part of that effort was a YouTube video letter to the Russian people from prominent Ukrainian musicians and artists who appealed, in Russian, for peace, love and understanding from their neighbors. “There are no ‘Nazis’ here; your brothers are here,” the singer Valeriy Kharchyshyn said in the video. “We love you and we don’t want war.” In that context, a highly discordant note was struck by video posted on YouTube this week that showed three men who represent the Ukrainian nationalist party Svoboda in Parliament berating the head of Ukraine’s state broadcaster over his decision to cover the Kremlin ceremony marking the annexation of Crimea.

Russian propaganda over Crimea and the Ukraine: how does it work? Vladimir Putin has put boots in the ground -- over the airwaves, he is taking the west on a tour of the propagandist’s playbook - Alan Yuhas, The occupation of Crimea by pro-Russian forces has been accompanied by a remarkable propaganda push by Moscow – an effort that has infiltrated western media and helped redefine the debate in Russia’s favor.

By spreading talk of fascists, of gangs of unknown armed men, of coups and self-determination and persecution – while sending armed men into Ukraine, egging on real and staged protests, bribing politicians and blocking the media – the Kremlin is enacting and realizing its propaganda on the ground. Image from entry, with caption: A man rides a scooter past a billboard urging people to vote in Sunday's Crimea referendum.

Beijing’s Propaganda Crisis - Murong Xuecun, New York Times: For more than 60 years, propaganda has been one of Beijing’s most important tools in sustaining Communist Party rule. In addition to lavishly praising the government and the party, propaganda has been deployed to impart moral instruction. Last November, for example, there was a flurry of reports informing us of the prurient evils of television shows and movies. We were implored to resist the vulgar content. More and more, the Chinese are questioning the government line. They mock the tone and style of the propaganda and resist the moral preaching. It’s fair to say that in the Internet age, the Chinese government’s propaganda machine is facing a crisis.

Turkey's Twitter block and propaganda be damned: revolutions will be tweeted -- The numbers are in, and the people want their internet freedom – no matter what Putin and Erdogan say - Richard Wike, World leaders may be cracking down on dissenting voices online – if ever there were a global trend, it’s that the revolution will be tweeted, and then restricted – but research shows there are reasons to be very optimistic about the future of internet freedom.

Image from entry, with caption: Girls take a break from protesting the development of Taksim Square in June 2013.

N.Korean Propaganda Against the South Is Failing - North Korean textbooks describe South Korea as a "fascist, military dictatorship" filled with "poverty and starvation,"

but fewer and fewer North Koreans are buying the propaganda. Uncaptioned image from entry


--Via OS on Facebook

No comments: