Media tools and channels of public diplomacy in the promotion of Chinese “soft power”

Лай Линчжи

Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет

Lai Lingzhi

Saint Petersburg State University

Китай при укреплении «мягкой силы» придает высокое значение публичной дипломатии.  С одной стороны, публичная дипломатия является инструментом, каналом  презентации, реализации  «мягкой силы», а с другой стороны, успешное функционирование  публичной дипломатии  укрепляет «мягкую силу» страны. Публичная дипломатия страны развертывается почти во всех областях:  СМИ, спорт, искусство, культурные программы, политика, экономика. В данном исследовании мы анализируем примеры публичной дипломатии, на которые ссылаются журналисты в материалах “China Daily”.

China during the strengthening of “soft power” attaches great importance to public diplomacy. On the one hand, public diplomacy is a tool, a channel of presentation, the implementation of “soft power”, and on the other hand, the successful functioning of public diplomacy strengthens the “soft power” of the country. Public diplomacy of the country unfolds in almost all areas: media, sports, art, cultural programs, politics, economics. In this study we are analysing examples of public diplomacy, referred to by journalists in the the materials of “China Daily”.

  1. Го Вэйминь. Большой потенциал для сотрудничества со СМИ. / URL: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2017-08/16/contenthtm (дата обращения: 12.12.2017).
  2. Дэн Янцзи. В Гонконге. Фонд делает ставку на дух Титаника. URL: www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2015-04/09/content20034338.htm (дата обращения: 13.12.2017).
  3. Интервью Си Цзиньпина латиноамериканским СМИ / / URL: russian.people.com.cn/n/2014/0716/c31521-8756225.html (дата обращения: 16.08.2017).
  4. Ли Шоу Йин. «Мягкая сила» зажигает любовный роман / / URL: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2015-12/07/content_22643792.htm (дата обращения: 16.12.2017).
  5. Мо Цзинси, Рэнь Ци. Визит Си заслуживает похвалы за сильную дипломатию. URL: https://chinadailyasia.com/news/2014-02/10/content_15116720.html (дата обращения: 09.10.2017).
  6. Синь Чжимин. Большие пожертвования отражают рост «мягкой силы». URL: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2014-11/01/contenthtm (дата обращения: 26.10. 2017).

 

  1. Deng Yanzi. In Hong Kong. Foundation banking on the spirit of Titanic. URL: www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2015-04/09/content20034338.htm (accessed: 13.12.2017).
  2. Guo Weimin. Great potential for media cooperation. // URL: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2017-08/16/content_30669230.htm (accessed: 12/12/2017).
  3. Xin Zhiming. Big donations reflect rising soft power. URL: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2014-11/01/content_18839222.htm (accessed: December 26, 2017).
  4. Interview Xi Jinping Latin American media // URL: http: //russian.people.com.cn/n/2014/0716/c31521-8756225.html (accessed: 16.08.2017).
  5. Mo Jingxi, Ren Qi. Xi’s visit wins praise for strong diplomacy. URL: https://chinadailyasia.com/news/2014-02/10/content_15116720.html (accessed: 09.10.2017).
  6. Lee Shew Yean. “Soft power” sparks love affair // URL: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2015-12/07/content_22643792.htm (accessed: 16.12.2017).

ОТЗЫВ на статью Лай Линчжи на тему: « Media tools and channels of public diplomacy in the promotion of Chinese “soft power”»

Статья Лай Линчжи « Media tools and channels of public diplomacy in the promotion of Chinese “soft power”» является самостоятельным, творчески завершенным исследованием теоретико-методологического характера с добротным эмпирическим подтверждением сформулированных автором полемических тезисов.

Для достижения цели исследования автор использует междисциплинарный подход, объединяющий на принципах системной организации когнитивные структуры политологии (политический анализ), психологии и конфликтологии,  теории международных отношений, государственного управления, привлекает методологический аппарат политической коммуникативистики (политический дискурс-анализ).

Статья имеет несомненную ценность для теории международной и отечественной журналистики, поскольку дает квалифицированное представление о практике работы средств массовой информации и коммуникации КНР во внешнем информационно-коммуникативном пространстве: без партийно-политической зашоренности, но с высоким профессионализмом и ответственностью за продвижение национальных интересов своего государства.  

Статья Лай Линчжи на тему: « Media tools and channels of public diplomacy in the promotion of Chinese “soft power”» является научной работой, в которой автором решена поставленная научная задача, имеющая существенное теоретическое и практическое значение для политической науки, теории и практики журналистики.

Полагаю, что  статья « Media tools and channels of public diplomacy in the promotion of Chinese “soft power”» заслуживает публикации в научном издании «Век информации», включенном в Перечень РИНЦ.

Мельник Г. С., доктор политических наук, профессор кафедры    цифровых медиакоммуникаций Санкт-Петербургского государственного университета

«Мягкая сила», публичная дипломатия, СМИ

“Soft power”,  public diplomacy, mass media.

Лай Л. Медийные инструменты и каналы публичной дипломатии в продвижении “мягкой силы” Китая // Век информации (Сетевое издание), 2019. Т.3 № 2(7) апрель 2019. https://doi.org/10.33941/age-info.com32(7)030

Lai Lingzhi, Media tools and channels of public diplomacy in promoting China’s “soft power”. Information age (online media), 2019, vol. 3, no. 2(7). https://doi.org/10.33941/age-info.com32(7)030

China during the strengthening of “soft power” attaches great importance to public diplomacy. On the one hand, public diplomacy is a tool, a channel of presentation, the implementation of “soft power”, and on the other hand, the successful functioning of public diplomacy strengthens the “soft power” of the country. Public diplomacy of the country unfolds in almost all areas: media, sports, art, cultural programs, politics, economics. And this is reflected in the newspaper field “China Daily”.

Let’s give an example of the coverage about several types of public diplomacy, reflected in the “China Daily”: the activities of an individual or public organizations, media diplomacy, sports diplomacy, public diplomacy of the first lady of the country. It should be pointed out that public diplomacy is not limited to these species, and the newspaper reflects all aspects of diplomacy of this kind. We list only a few of them.

The activities of an individual or public organizations as part of public diplomacy. The activities of an individual in the context of public diplomacy also play an indispensable role in promoting the “soft power” of the country. Let’s give concrete examples, reflected in the “China Daily”.

In April 2015, the Chinese energy company set up the Titanic charity fund to help shipwreck victims and relatives of shipwreck victims around the world. “The legendary ocean liner Titanic sank more than a century ago in the North Atlantic, but the story and the spirit of death around him still capture the imagination of people all over the world, regardless of nationality, race or language. And this spirit prompted the launch of the Titanic Foundation”,-writes the “China Daily” under the heading “International institutions with a global spirit”.

In addition, the author of the above material expresses the opinion that it is necessary to preserve the spirit of the Titanic by creating a foundation, to strengthen China’s “soft power”, emphasizing the connection and understanding between China and the world[1].

The field of the newspaper coverage also includes activities of notable personalities of China in various fields in the world arena that contribute to the multiplication of the soft power of the country.

In November 2014, China’s real estate mogul Pan Shiyi and his wife donated $ 10 million to Yale University. The donated money was intended for Chinese students who go to Harvard or Yale, but can not afford to pay tuition and other expenses.

The newspaper “China daily” highly appreciated this step, commenting on it as big donations reflecting the growing “soft power” of the counrty. However, in response to partial criticism from some commentators and Internet users asking the question “Why not donate money to universities in China?”, the author of the article called to respect the decisions of the spouses, especially when they will be used to offer opportunities for the Chinese students to continue their studies in high-ranking world universities[2]. In addition, the author emphasized the importance of the charitable activities of individuals in the sphere of world education in the long-term prospectus.

Sports diplomacy as a form of public diplomacy. Sports diplomacy as an aspect of public diplomacy has always played an important role in developing China’s relations with other countries. The establishment of diplomatic relations between New China and the United States began with the so-called “Ping-Pong diplomacy”.

In February 2014, Xi Jinping visited Russia and attended the Olympic Games in Sochi. Xi Jinping’s presence at the Olympic Games ceremony is a prime example of public diplomacy. Xi’s visit to Sochi marked the first time that the head of the Chinf took part in the opening ceremony of a major foreign sporting event. Especially in the context of the Ukrainian crisis and clashes with Western countries of that time, the support from China for Russia and the Russian Olympic Games attached special importance. As TASS said, “The xi’s trip is widely regarded as an important symbol of true friendship between two neighbors”. Russian TV presenter Sergey Brilev said: “The Russian people were touched by the visit of Xi in Sochi. From this visit, we can say that both countries support each other on important issues”. Mikhail Titarenko, director of the Institute of the Far East of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that Beijing’s support for the Olympic Games in Sochi is of great importance for the existing Chinese-Russian ties, as well as future cooperation between the two countries[3].

The newspaper “China Daily” commented: this step indicates that the country views sport as an aspect of “soft power”, strengthens Russian-Chinese relations through sports diplomacy. The newspaper appreciated the importance of this visit to the creation of the state image as a supportive side of sports and a defender of peace[4].

 Media diplomacy. As we showed in the previous section of the dissertation, media diplomacy is a kind of public diplomacy that acquires a significant role in interstate relations and the promotion of “soft power”. Media cooperation is the main aspect of interstate relations. Its success directly affects mutual understanding between states and further determines the direction of their relations. Let us take various aspects of media cooperation between Africa and China as an example.

 Media cooperation as the engine of interstate relations. China always values cooperation and friendship with African countries. This is due to the similarity of colonial history and reality: both Africa and China for a long period of time were under colonial domination. Both of them are members of the third world. Both sides understand that development and state sovereignty are the basis of development. And because of the historical context there is a deep trust and a solid foundation of friendship and cooperation between them.

On October 25, 1971, the Chinese government and people gained a major diplomatic victory thanks to the help of African countries: the UN General Assembly resolution 2758 (XXVI) “Restoration of the legitimate rights of the Chinese People’s Republic in the United Nations” was adopted. In accordance with this Resolution, the right of representation of China passed from the Republic of China to the People’s Republic of China, including the seat of a permanent member of the UN Security Council. After 21 days, the first diplomacy of New China went to the United Nations in New York to participate in the General Assembly.

China, in turn, also inspired by the example of African countries to struggle for their independence, helped them develop the economy, provided humanitarian aid of enormous size in all areas, gave them support to express their voice as representatives of the third world for their legitimate rights in the world arena.

In recent years, the two sides have been developing cooperation not only in the political and economic, cultural spheres, but also in the media. The newspaper “China Daily” invited the Vice-Minister of the Information Bureau of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China as the author and gave an expert comment on this matter.

 “The continued deepening of China-Africa cooperation in the media played an important role in promoting understanding of each side of the other and strengthening traditional friendship between China and Africa. However, at the same time, we must also understand that compared to the rapid development of China-Africa relations and the flourishing political and economic cooperation between them, their knowledge of each other is far from adequate”[5], — said Vice Minister of Information Bureau of the State Council Guo Weimin.

The vice minister said that the above situation determines the existence of a huge potential for cooperation between Chinese and African media. He urged the Chinese and African media to deepen mutual trust, strengthen exchanges, expand the results of pragmatic cooperation in all areas, jointly express their own voice[6]. In conclusion, the author noted that the Chinese and African media together can strengthen the “soft power” of both sides and create a more objective, fair, balanced and diverse international public opinion environment.

 China’s media are themselves involved in shaping the presentation and implementation of the “soft power” of the country. In December 2015, the newspaper “China Daily” in conjunction with the government of Jiangsu Province organized a media tour of foreign journalists in this province.

“I think I fell in love with Jiangsu”,- says the head of the current news section at Kwong Wah Yeith Poh in Malaysia, Lee Shew Yean, who is member of this media outlet. “Autumn colors and delicious cuisine were one of the highlights of my trip to the province, which is an important point of the ‘One Belt and One Road’initiative. Jiangsu is one of the economic centers of China, but through this trip I felt its ‘soft power’. In addition to information on the port, industrial and initial sectors of the province, trips to the Zheng He Heritage Park and Xuzhou Museum were very interesting to me because they allowed me to learn more about China’s history. I noticed that Jiangsu has many other attractive attractions. Despite the fact that on this trip we visited only four cities in Jiangsu Province, I very strongly felt the efforts of the organizers. The ‘soft power’ of Jiangsu also manifests itself in the form of food. I managed to try different local dishes from different cities. Provincial Government of Jiangsu, organized for us a wonderful trip. In the province there are many interesting places and faces that you can enjoy at every step”, — shares her impressions of the trip in her author’s essay entitled “Soft power causes a spark of love”[7].

There are many such events and activities of organized Chinese media. They are their efforts to present and promote the soft power of the country.

Chairman Xi particularly appreciates support and understanding from the media. He repeatedly gave exclusive interviews to foreign media, including before going on an official trip, where he popularly explained the principles and content of Chinese politics, directly addressing the audience.

 For example, President Xi Jinping on the eve of the 6th BRICS Summit and state visits to Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba and the China-Latin America and Caribbean summit gave an interview to several media outlets — the Brazilian newspaper “Valor Economico”, the Argentine newspaper, “El Nacional”, the national information agency of Venezuela and the Cuban news agency “Prensa Latina”.

“We will be more active in defending peace throughout the world, launching an initiative on the concept of a comprehensive, complecated cooperative, sustainable security, making efforts for the peaceful settlement of disputes through consultations and negotiations.We firmly insist on the post-war international order in which the UN plays a central role and take an active part in UN peacekeeping operations, regional cooperation and dialogue in the field of security”,- he said, noting that China will take a more active part in international affairs, to promote greater representation and voice of developing countries in international affairs, to promote more actively dialogue between the North and South and South-South cooperation, in particular to help develop developing countries in the implementation of an independent and sustainable development”[8].

In general, public diplomacy is one of the main instruments for promoting China’s “soft power”. Thus, the analyzed publications of “China Daily” reflected such aspects of “soft power” as: media diplomacy, sports diplomacy, the activities of an individual and entire public organizations.

[1] Deng Yanzi. In Hong Kong. Foundation banking on the spirit of Titanic. URL: www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2015-04/09/content20034338.htm (accessed: 13.12.2017).

[2]  Xin Zhiming. Big donations reflect rising soft power. URL: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2014-11/01/content_18839222.htm (accessed: December 26, 2017).

[3] Mo Jingxi, Ren Qi. Xi’s visit wins praise for strong diplomacy. URL: https://chinadailyasia.com/news/2014-02/10/content_15116720.html (accessed: 09.10.2017).

[4] Ibid.

[5] Guo Weimin. Great potential for media cooperation. // URL: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2017-08/16/content_30669230.htm (accessed: 12/12/2017).

[6] Ibid.

[7] Lee Shew Yean. “Soft power” sparks love affair // URL: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2015-12/07/content_22643792.htm (accessed: 16.12.2017).

[8] Interview Xi Jinping Latin American media // URL: http: //russian.people.com.cn/n/2014/0716/c31521-8756225.html (accessed: 16.08.2017).