Concerns Grow Over China's Confucius Institutes

Radio Free Asia | Jul 25, 2014

Once lauded as the jewel in the crown of China's "soft power" cultural diplomacy, Confucius Institutes have sprung up at hundreds of colleges and teaching institutions around the world. Partnering with local academic centers, their aim is to teach people to speak Chinese, as well as broadening people's experience of Chinese culture in general. But a recent warning from a group of U.S. professors suggests some 90 Confucius Institutes across the U.S.

Smart Diplomacy: People-to-People Exchange

Education Week | Jul 25, 2014

Have you ever wished that the U.S. would prioritize education as much as it does defense? Ever wondered what diplomacy would be like if there were an equal emphasis placed on deeper connections between people as there is on geopolitical prowess? If so, you might be very keen to learn about the recent U.S./China annual high-level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) held in concert with the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). Now in its fifth iteration, this merger is what I call smart diplomacy.

World Sees Korea as Technology Powerhouse: Survey

The Korea Herald | Jul 25, 2014

Citizens of 17 major nations regard South Korea as a technology powerhouse that ascended from the ashes of a devastating war, a survey showed Friday. The Foreign Ministry released results of a worldwide survey on the image of the country. It commissioned Samjong KPMG LLC, an accounting and consulting house, to poll 6,000 people aged 18 or older in countries including Germany, India, Vietnam, Mexico, Turkey, Egypt and South Africa for one month from mid-October. 

Canada in the World

Ottowa Citizen | Jul 25, 2014

Canada’s environmental, public-safety, agricultural, foreign-affairs and trade policies all affect global prosperity and resilience — and by extension in an interconnected world, Canadian prosperity and resilience.

The All-American Expo That Invaded Cold War Russia

Paleofuture | Jul 25, 2014

Over the course of six weeks during the height of the Cold War, almost three million Soviets visited an exhibition that celebrated America. American kitchens, American art, American cars, and most especially American capitalism. The American National Exhibition in Moscow was a full-court press to convince the Soviet people of American superiority.

Why the U.S. Is Building a Fantastical Aquarium in Brazil

The Atlantic | Jul 25, 2014

Soon enough, Brazil will be able to boast the largest aquarium in South America. It may also be the most truly American project in the Western Hemisphere. While the backers of Acquario Ceará are aiming to create a new design symbol for South America, it will be almost entirely a product of North America. 

Gastón Acurio, South America’s Super Chef

Washington Post | Jul 25, 2014

With a swelling franchise of 44 international restaurants, Gastón Acurio has made the varied food of Peru its proudest export.  Then Gastón Acurio opened his first restaurant in 1994, and began remaking gritty Lima into the culinary capital of South America.

Aarne Saluveer Helps Meld an Alienated Russian Minority into Estonia’s Culture

The Christian Science Monitor | Jul 24, 2014

On a recent spring day in Rugodiv auditorium in Narva, a city on Estonia’s eastern border with Russia, 280 children are singing: “This is what I hear/ This is what I see/ This is what I feel/ This is my homeland.” Standing shoulder to shoulder, they all sing in Estonian, a surprise in this Russian enclave of 58,600 on the dividing line between the European Union and the Russian Federation. 

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