Habla Español: what’s next for the world’s second language?

The Pie News | May 23, 2015

Spanish is not just a handy language for World Cup referees. In a 2013 report entitled “Languages for the Future”, the British Council cited Spanish as the most important language to learn. It’s not hard to see why: approximately 470 million people speak Spanish as a native language, 60 million as a second language and 20 million students are studying it as a foreign language.

The Hard And Soft Faces of China's 'United Front' Work

Radio Free Asia | May 23, 2015

President Xi Jinping's plea for a "united front" from the ruling Chinese Communist Party in a high-profile speech this week shows that the president is combining the hostile politics of the Mao era with an ever-expanding deployment of "soft power" in the form of influence that goes well beyond the business of government, political analysts said on Friday.

Press Play for Politics: My Struggle to Compose a Georgian Weapon Against Russia

Huffington Post | May 23, 2015

"[Eurovision] is truly an event that builds bridges between nations and encapsulates the values of Public Service Media. In this [60th] anniversary year, it is with pride that we look back at how the contest has influenced the public sphere in Europe."-- Ingrid Deltenre, European Broadcast Union Director General. 

China's Internet War: Protecting From Western Ideals May Stifle Economic Development

International Business Times | May 22, 2015

China’s military is in the middle of a “hidden war” with the West, according to an editorial in the People’s Liberation Army Daily. The piece claims that the Internet has become an “ideological battlefield” that  can only be won by controlling it. In shielding the Chinese public from “Western hostile forces,” China’s government may successfully win an ideological battle, but it may come at the cost of homegrown technological innovation and could stifle economic development.

All Set for Economic Diplomacy Academy

Business Day Live | May 22, 2015

A FULLY fledged academy that will train officials in economic diplomacy was on track to being realised, International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Thursday while delivering her budget vote speech in Parliament. As per the National Development Plan (NDP), the department would train all its officials in economic diplomacy through the academy as a core competency for their work abroad.

Hospitals Promote Medical Diplomacy for Nation’s Allies

Taipei Times | May 22, 2015

Several Taiwanese hospitals are offering medical assistance to the nation’s diplomatic allies in Latin America and the Caribbean in an effort to promote medical diplomacy, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said on Thursday.

Things Not Going as Planned for New European Nation

Newser | May 22, 2015

If you declare a nation that no other nation recognizes, is it still a nation? Such is the quandary of Vit Jedlicka, a Czech politician and founder of Liberland, a 3-square-mile speck of land between Croatia and Serbia that he plans to turn into a little dynamo of a country. If only the world will let him. 

Using Soft Power to Hardsell Spirituality

The Northlands | May 22, 2015

Prime Minister Modi has been promoting a new term, "spiritual neighborhood". He used it during his trips to Sri Lanka and more recently to Mongolia to link up with Buddhism. It makes for good diplomacy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invented a new concept in diplomacy, "spiritual neighbourhood". Addressing the Great Hural, the Mongolian Parliament, the Prime Minister affirmed, "I bring the greetings of your 1.25 billion spiritual neighbors."


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