Japan to Set Up New Economic Aid Programs for Caribbean Community

Global Post | Jul 28, 2014

The new economic program seems intended to counter China's recently growing influence over Caribbean countries. Beijing has diplomatic relations with nine of the 14 countries, with President Xi Jinping having paid a visit to Trinidad and Tobago last year. Abe explained Japan's policy of proactively contributing to global peace, security and prosperity, and reiterated Tokyo's appeal to the international community to resolve territorial and maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international laws, and not by force or intimidation.

Hollywood's Sweet-and-Sour Transformation

Deutsche Welle | Jul 28, 2014

Beijing knows how important China is for Hollywood and it can afford to make high demands. Western producers are still lining up to get access to the Chinese market. In addition to mercantile barriers, China has also set up cultural barriers to Hollywood. The goal is to make sure the local film industry isn't suffocated by Hollywood. And, fascinated by Hollywood's soft power, the leadership in Beijing is dreaming of setting up their own big industry in the medium term. Hollywood, India's Bollywood, now soon "Chinawood"?

Culinary Art Packs a Soft Power Punch

ECNS | Jul 28, 2014

Mention China and most Westerners will think about its food. This is not surprising given the popularity of Chinese cuisine in the West, where some countries have more restaurants serving Chinese dishes than the traditional local fair. Perhaps this is why China appears exotic and wondrous to many Westerners.

Dancers Strike a Tandava Pose over Govt Order

Bangalore Mirror | Jul 28, 2014

Union culture minister Shripad Yesso Naik has no clue about a storm brewing in his backyard. In what is perceived to be a "misguided effort to save money" for the ministry, a few bureaucrats have come out with an order that has made dancers across the country lose their poise. The order, which fixes the selection methodology for the Festivals of India that are held abroad, is likely to have a serious impact on the country's soft diplomacy.

Putin’s Propaganda Highlights Need for Public Diplomacy

Boston Globe | Jul 28, 2014

Over the last six months, the Russian propaganda machine has pursued a two-pronged strategy toward its domestic audience.  Russia’s propaganda effort also has a global dimension.  How should the US government respond?

China Poised to Pass U.S. as Top Business-Travel Market

Bloomberg | Jul 28, 2014

China is poised to displace the U.S. as the world’s biggest business-travel market by 2016, aided by accelerating export growth and slowing inflation.  In China, the increasing pace of exports since mid-2013, consumer prices running below government targets and nominal wage gains that support more spending and profit growth are contributing to an expansion in the market. 

Social Media Spreads Messages of Israel-Hamas Conflict

USA Today | Jul 28, 2014

The bruising battle between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has carved out a bloody new front in social media — one that has bypassed traditional news outlets and burned a straight path toward advocates on all sides.

China’s Navy Shows Off Massage Techniques in Soft-Power Display

Bloomberg | Jul 28, 2014

On a Chinese hospital ship off Hawaii, crew members demonstrate traditional massage techniques to U.S. sailors. The mood is one of collegiality, even after China opted out of Japan-led humanitarian drills at the world’s largest international naval exercise.

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