f_0016637_14379 - The Cultural Impact on China's New...

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The Cultural Impact on China's New Diplomacy by Wilfried Bolewski and Candy M. Rietig China takes the path of peaceful development. This is made necessary by its national conditions, cultural traditions and its embracing of the global trend of development…. It is thanks to following this policy that we have been able to gain more room for the conduct of China's diplomacy. ... We should be good at using flexible and diversified ways in conducting public diplomacy programs…. We should work to enable the international community to develop an objective and balanced view on China's development and international role, so as to foster an environment of friendly public opinion for China. 1 Wen Jiabao, Chinese Premier, February 27, 2007 C hina is in a state of universal change—economically, culturally, politically and diplomatically—and the international community is taking note of the Chinese posture as an ascending global power. As a nation, China has economically liberalized and opened up to the world while retaining a government that by some definitions would be considered authoritarian. Previously an aloof international actor, increased participation in international organizations like the United Nations and dramatic increases in contributions to peacekeeping missions are just two examples of the larger soft power network Beijing is establishing. These activities in public diplomacy are aimed at raising international popularity and acceptance of an ascending China through cooperative behavior and international engagement. As Jamie Roth puts it, “China's new public diplomacy seems to have taken careful note of how to strengthen the country's image abroad through cultural relations.” 2 Because the Chinese want to be able to deal with the challenges of a globalized world, 3 they have adopted a strategy of learning from other participants. In 2008, China is at the forefront of the world stage—and is therefore eager to take this opportunity to position itself as a state worthy of acceptance and respect among the major global players. When it comes to issues concerning the Beijing Consensus, 4 today's China could be described as, “certainly smarter and more sophisticated—but not necessarily kinder or gentler.” 5 As a result of more than two decades of unprecedented economic development, China has begun to officially Ambassador Wilfried Bolewski is Professor of International Law and Diplomacy at the Free University of Berlin and teaches at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques ("Sciences Po") in Paris. Candy M. Rietig studied International Relations, Economics and International Law at Ludwig- Maximilians-University Munich, the American University, Washington D.C., and Zhejiang University in Hangzhou China. 83
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f_0016637_14379 - The Cultural Impact on China's New...

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