Viewers Blast Spring Festival Gala’s Attempt at ‘Soft Power’

Beijing Today | Mar 2, 2015

For foreigners, it can be hard to understand the staggering viewership of CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala. The yearly program commanded 700 million eyeballs in 2014 and 690 million eyeballs this year, according to CNN. But cold comments online suggest that CCTV’s viewership comes less from popularity than from a captive audience.

China and Russia vs. the United States?

The Diplomat | Mar 2, 2015

The rising tensions between Russia and the West, especially the United States, over Ukraine provide a constant reminder of the Cold War, when the two superpowers fought proxy conflicts for spheres of influence. A key question in the current game of great power politics is whether China and Russia will form an alliance against the United States?

Narendra Modi Urges the Indian Diaspora to Become an Extension of Foreign Policy

The Guardian | Mar 2, 2015

For years, Indians viewed their countrymen who emigrated abroad for better opportunities with suspicion – as if they’d somehow betrayed the motherland. (...)And the country’s new government is looking at the huge expatriate population – second only to China’s – as a valuable component of India’s foreign policy, in much the same way the Jewish diaspora in the US influences international opinion and policy on Israel.

Should Adland Join the Communications War on ISIS?

AdAge | Mar 2, 2015

Madison Avenue has helped the U.S. government fight everything from wartime foes to teen smoking. But now that Washington is locked in conflict with ISIS, a deadly enemy with sophisticated propaganda skills, adland seems very far from the front. Where are the country's best communications professionals during the propaganda battle of our time?

Australian Council for International Development Warns Aid Cuts Will Hurt Global Relations

The Sydney Morning Herald | Mar 1, 2015

The Abbott government's deep foreign aid cuts are undermining the national interest and harming Australia's relations abroad, aid organisations say in a major pitch to reverse the cuts in the coming budget.

Park Presses Japan on Sex Slavery

The Korea Herald | Mar 1, 2015

President Park Geun-hye on Sunday urged Japan to face up to and sincerely atone for its brutalities during colonial rule as a first step to writing a “new history” with Korea for the next 50 years. In her Independence Movement Day address, she called for the two Koreas to meet to discuss reunions of families displaced by the 1950-53 Korean War, while expanding cooperation in sports, culture, arts and humanitarian areas. 

The Prince and the Party: Five Elephants in the Room

BBC | Mar 1, 2015

On Sunday evening, Prince William arrives in Beijing at the start of a three day visit to China.  At state level, the objective is to promote brand Britain, and at a personal level, it's an opportunity to talk about his abiding passion: elephant protection.

Netanyahu Heads to Washington for 'Historic Mission' to 'Guarantee Israel's Future'

Haaretz | Mar 1, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Washington on Sunday ahead of his controversial speech to Congress."Today, on the eve of the Fast of Esther, I'm embarking on a historic mission," the prime minister said before boarding the plane. "I feel like the emissary of all the people of Israel, even those who don't agree with me. "I am profoundly concerned about the fate of Israel and our people. I will do everything in my power to guarantee our future," Netanyahu added.

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