Xi Backs People-to-People Exchanges to Improve China-Japan Ties

CCTV | May 24, 2015

Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a gathering of more than 3,000 Japanese visitors in Beijing Saturday to support people-to-people exchanges between the two nations. "The China-Japan friendship is rooted in the people, and the future of the bilateral relationship is in the hand of the people of the two countries," Xi said as he delivered a speech at the meeting at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.

A Shrewd Financial Investor, Qatar Boasts Dismal Return on Investment in Soft Power

Huffington Post | May 24, 2015

Widely viewed as a shrewd financial investor, Qatar's return on investment in soft power designed to position it as a progressive ally of world powers in the hope that they will come to the aid of the wealthy Gulf state in times of emergency is proving to be abysmal. [...] the payback in Qatar's reputation, attitudes of law enforcement-related governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, including trade unions and human rights groups and the public, and media headlines has been everything but congratulatory.

Taxpayers Slugged $130,000 for Julie Bishop's Koala Diplomacy

Sydney Morning Herald | May 24, 2015

Diplomats with these koalafications don't come cheap. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop could barely contain her glee when she was filmed with the furry foursome of Paddle, Chan, Pelita and Idalia at the launch of Singapore Zoo's new koala exhibit last week. But Australian taxpayers might not be so happy to learn that the diplomatic donation – made to mark 50 years of Australia-Singapore relations – cost them $133,100.

On the Field and Online: How the Fight Against ISIS is a Battle On Two Fronts

Christian Science Monitor | May 24, 2015

The fall of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra to the Islamic State this week marked an opportunity for the militant group to push its propaganda forward. [...] The militants’ decision to publicize their victory via social media is typical of the group’s strategy as it strives to use the Internet to push its propaganda forward – and it comes as the Obama administration faces increasing scrutiny of its policies for combating the extremist group on both fronts.

Activists Cross North-South Korea Border

Bangkok Post | May 24, 2015

A group of women peace activists, led by American feminist Gloria Steinem, made a rare crossing of one of the world's most militarised borders on Sunday to promote reconciliation between North and South Korea.

Diplomacy: Pulling In Different Directions

Jerusalem Post | May 24, 2015

As the new government gets started, the main actors in the Mideast diplomatic drama are all pulling in very different directions. 

K Shanmugam to Visit New Zealand To Mark 50 Years of Diplomatic Relations

Chanel News Asia | May 23, 2015

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam’s visit, from May 24 to 26, takes place as both countries mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year, says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Japan, South Korea Financial Chiefs Resume Talks Amid Diplomatic Row

Zee News | May 23, 2015

Tokyo: Japan and South Korea on Saturday held the first dialogue of their financial chiefs in two and a half years, agreeing to improve economic ties despite diplomatic frictions between the two Asian countries. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso and his South Korean counterpart Choi Kyung-Hwan held a one-day meeting in Tokyo, the first since November 2012 and since conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in December that year.

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