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.

Lamps Shine Light On a New Kind of Aid in Burundi

The Globe and Mail | May 23, 2015

In the hilltop village of Murehe, electricity is an exotic and faraway rumour. Like 97 per cent of the population in Burundi, one of the world’s poorest countries, the villagers here rely on candles and kerosene for a dim and flickering light. [...] What’s even more significant is how the village got its lamps. This wasn’t a traditional charity giveaway – the old-fashioned type of foreign aid. Instead, there was a business plan, technical innovation, a system of income generation with village enterprises and a partnership with a profit-making company.

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.

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