Digital Diplomacy & New Technology

iSoftStone, which is providing technical support to this Bangladesh project, is a global leader in digital city technologies based in Beijing. It has developed smart city strategies for over 100 municipalities and has implemented more than 50 related digital solutions. The organisation provides comprehensive end-to-end solutions to governments, industries and enterprises with urban management, industrial application, services for livelihood improvement and city innovation.

As the new president-elect prepares to take office, traditional analysts scramble to prepare policy papers on their public diplomacy recommendations. In keeping with the twist of the Trump candidacy, it seems fitting to turn the tables and see what insights public diplomacy may glean from the Trump run. Social media, emotion, and identity are redefining traditional strategies, and Trump has exploited these shifting communication dynamics.

As tensions over Hong Kong government's seizure of nine military vehicles from Singapore continues to escalate, Singaporean bloggers have turned the diplomatic incident into catchy ‘Singlish Songs’, humorously pleading Hong Kong and China to return their “Terrex Chia”. [...] YouTuber Alvin Oon's song, “Give Me Back My Terrex Chia”, went viral in the space of a few days. He introduced it on YouTube as “Song Diplomacy”.

Taiwan’s president didn’t meet with President-elect Donald Trump during her closely watched U.S. stopover this weekend. But she did visit his favorite communication outlet. Tsai Ing-wen posted photos of her tour of Twitter Inc.’s headquarters in San Francisco on her verified account on the social-media site. It was her first tweet in more than two years, and it appeared directed to a global audience.

Tweets, of course, do not speak. They are lines, no more than 140 characters, broadcast to the world, lacking the context of a 40-page policy paper or even a full paragraph tossed off during a backyard barbecue. And the utterings of the next president often prompt a slew of questions about how they relate to policy or international diplomacy and whether they promote falsehoods or increase global instability.

January 10, 2017

South Korea is a latecomer when it comes to public diplomacy. It can learn from Taiwan's experience, especially its public diplomacy with the United States. It's a fitting proposition because there is a view that South Korea, under Park Geun-hye, displayed the appearance of "tilting" towards China at the expense of the U.S., its major ally.

What's on Weibo, an independent blog that reports on social and cultural trends in China, recently released a list of the top five embassies with the largest number of followers on Sina Weibo, China's most influential micro-blogging platform. The Israeli embassy tops the list with over 1.91 million followers, which are 800,000 more than the Canadian embassy, the second on the list, and almost double that of the US embassy, which sits at No. 3.

The formal launch this month of China Global Television Network (CGTN), bringing the international channels of China Central Television (CCTV) and its digital presence under a new branding effort, should be understood as the latest push to develop an international broadcast infrastructure allowing China to advance its messages and flex its “discourse power.”

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