JR’s China Soft Power Summary, July 2012

This guest post comes to SinoMondiale via JustRecently.  It’s frequently hard to believe for a nationalist that his or her country may not project as much “soft power” abroad as it would deserve, in the nationalist’s view. Besides, the idea that the inconceivable should be seen as a fact may amount to an insult. But that doesn’t help the task of making China “going towards the world”. Two goals … Continue reading JR’s China Soft Power Summary, July 2012

Cultural Power Battle Threads

– The Telegraph reports in alarmist fashion about Hu Jintao warning, as the newspaper headline puts it, of “cultural warfare from the West” – A closer examination of the story indicates that Hu Jintao’s “battle cry,” above, was a speech given on October 18, 2011, that was republished yesterday in the preemminent journal for CCP theory, Qiushi (Seeking Truth / 求是). In fact most of the … Continue reading Cultural Power Battle Threads

The Dalai Lama in Toulouse: On Soft Power, Le Pen, and Unfallen Shoes

Back in July, while on a late-night stroll through the 5th Arrdondisment looking for Rue Oberkampf, I chanced upon an announcement of the Dalai Lama’s mid-August trip to Toulouse, France, a city which appears to have become a kind of new Buddhist heartland. To follow up: The Dalai Lama indeed went to Toulouse, and a short clip from a French television station captures very well … Continue reading The Dalai Lama in Toulouse: On Soft Power, Le Pen, and Unfallen Shoes

Kevin Garnett’s Chinese Blog

Boston Celtics superstar Kevin Garnett, I found out yesterday from undisclosed sources, has been maintaining a bilingual (English-Chinese) basketball blog which is very, very popular in the PRC. As described in this entry on LeBron James, NBA stars, including some in Cleveland, have been promoting shoes in China for while.  The fact that Kevin Garnett is now wearing Chinese shoes and shilling for a Chinese … Continue reading Kevin Garnett’s Chinese Blog

Trashing Diplomatic Etiquette, or Just Empty Cannon Shots? Huanqiu Shibao Weighs in on Clinton’s ‘Fool’s Errand’ Comment

There has been an immense amount of action which has occurred in the U.S.-China relation in the past week, actions about which, being on several “fool’s errands” of my own, I nevertheless hope to comment upon. At the end of a week of bilateral meetings in Washington, rather than grand strategic debates, we seem to have in hand the following tempest-in-a-teapot: U.S. Secretary of State … Continue reading Trashing Diplomatic Etiquette, or Just Empty Cannon Shots? Huanqiu Shibao Weighs in on Clinton’s ‘Fool’s Errand’ Comment

Analysing the Limits of Soft Power in the Case of Ai Weiwei: Der Tagesspiegel

As promised, I am working my way through some of the prolix torrent of analysis and concern levied upon the case of Ai Weiwei by authors in Germany, and by German authors in China. In general, the confrontation between Germany and China over cultural matters and human rights seems now primed to grow exponentially.  Museum directors are now musing openly about bringing the Enlightenment exhibition … Continue reading Analysing the Limits of Soft Power in the Case of Ai Weiwei: Der Tagesspiegel

Japanese Departures

Thanks to the clarion calls of the immortal James Brown, it has become clear: I’m back, and Yukio Hatoyama has indeed “gotten up off of that thing,” relieving pressure by resigning.  More importantly, the U.S.-Japan alliance is again, as NPR reports, “in limbo.”  You could see the writing on the wall, clearly, when Obama visited Japan last year — the tentative nature of the interaction … Continue reading Japanese Departures

Confucius Institute Outreach to DPRK

North Korea’s relations with China haven’t gotten much press lately, outside of reports that the diplomatic staff at the DPRK Embassy in Beijing are being shuffled, along with more rumors of exclusive and wide-spread access to North Korean ports and minerals by Chinese companies. So it’s nice to run across this story dating from summer 2009 which describes how, under the auspices of Beijing University’s … Continue reading Confucius Institute Outreach to DPRK

China-Iran-Russia: Geopolitics and Soft Power

Via Professor Juan Cole’s groundbreaking Informed Comment website, an illustrated commentary on Sino-Iranian relations by Pepe Escobar in France (in English): Then, via Al Jezeera’s English service, a short report on China’s Iran moves in October: The best look at the deep structure of Sino-Iran relations today is probably my colleague John Garver’s work, Ancient Partners in a Post-Imperial World, published here in Seattle at … Continue reading China-Iran-Russia: Geopolitics and Soft Power

Soft Power Fiddling Meets Open-Throat Singing: Big Goings-On in New York

Yesterday the Sunday New York Times suddenly became worth its asking price of $6 by carrying a large advertisement laying out the immense variety of China-related musical activites going on in Manhattan this week.  In effect, the PRC is taking over the beating heart of the classical music world, with the exception of the Metropolitan Opera, an institution which has already lionized Placido Domingo as … Continue reading Soft Power Fiddling Meets Open-Throat Singing: Big Goings-On in New York