Smart Aid for the World's Poor

Washington Street Journal | Jul 26, 2014

In September next year, the United Nations plans to choose a list of development goals for the world to meet by the year 2030. What aspirations should it set for this global campaign to improve the lot of the poor, and how should it choose them? In answering that question, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his advisers are confronted with a task that they often avoid: setting priorities. 

Japan’s Brand is Floundering Under Abe

The Japan Times | Jul 26, 2014

Attending the Association of Asian Studies conference in Singapore last week, I realized that Japan’s global image is not what it might be. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Japan is back, but doubts are spreading about the version of Japan he is promoting. It appears that Abe’s energetic regional diplomacy has been undercut by his awkward views on history and failure to deliver on structural reforms.

China’s Military Diplomacy Heats Up

The Diplomat | Jul 26, 2014

Most notably, China is currently participating in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, for the first time this month. As previously noted, China sent the second largest delegation to the RIMPAC exercise this year. Its RIMPAC fleet includes the missile destroyer Haikou, the missile frigate Yueyang, the supply vessel Qiandaohu, the Peace Ark hospital ship, two helicopters and a dive unit, along with 1,100 personnel. 

‘Hug A Terrorist?’ Arab Girls Act to Save Gaza Victims

Al Arabiya | Jul 26, 2014

In this short clip, two Palestinian-Syrian girls in Toronto, Canada called on strangers to "hug a terrorist." Produced by the social media activist group Like for Syria, the video portrays two young girls hugging people to inform pedestrians about the escalating death toll in Gaza. They asked people for hugs, holding a banner that read “Hug A Terrorist” and recorded the reactions of people. 

Why the Broadcasting Board of Governors Is Nothing Like RT

Time | Jul 26, 2014

This week, a stirring new documentary from the Voice of America called “AIDS: Living in the Shadows” made its world premiere at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. The documentary takes audiences on a journey to Nigeria, Cambodia, Haiti, Uganda, Canada, and the United States to meet those living with HIV and AIDS. This is the most recent example of the excellent work done by VOA as it serves its audiences around the world while promoting the interests of the United States — in this case, helping halt a global pandemic.

Transitioning From Traditional Diplomacy to Digital Diplomacy

Daily Times | Jul 25, 2014

With reference to Pakistan, our busy diplomats in the world’s power hub of Washington DC are gradually embracing social media but are not sufficiently trained to engage in debates on social media. That is unfortunate because social media has become the new public diplomacy tool and is far cheaper than the bloated budgets of fancy diplomatic events. In this age of rapid-fire peer-to-peer connectivity, the Pakistan embassy is still boxed in in the world of achingly slow government-to-government negotiations. 

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.

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