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For China, tourism is a tool. The country sees it as a facilitator of people-to-people communication and a way to spread international friendship. In other words: soft power. [...] However, in the discussions during the evening reception, most participants were first asking questions and offering stories about different forms of outrageous behavior seen among Chinese travelers. 

Enterprise Estonia, the state-run agency responsible for promoting Estonia abroad and attracting investment, launched two brand new web platforms, estonia.ee and brand.estonia.ee, at the cost of €200,000. The new website estonia.ee replaces the estonia.eu site that had become obsolete and outdated, both in design and content. The long-serving “Welcome to Estonia” logo will be dumped as well.

So, ‘global Britain’ eh? This, we are told, will be the leitmotif for Theresa May’s Brexit speech tomorrow and, indeed, for her approach to international affairs more generally. And who could disagree with any of that? The argument will, of course, be couched in economic terms. The spirit of Britannia will be unleashed to sail the world’s oceans. Britain is back, you know. 

There has been much misinformation about Islam. Reports in Western media tend to perpetuate stereotypes that Islam is a violent religion and Muslim women are oppressed. Popular films like “American Sniper” reduce places like Iraq to dusty war zones, devoid of any culture or history. Fears and anxiety manifest themselves in Islamophobic actions such as burning mosques or even attacking people physically.

Dosa Hut? Curry Truck? Chaat Parlour? Sushi Corner? Falafel Carts? These are some of the oddities that have sprung up and can be spotted in many cities of the US, but nowhere is this more ubiquitous than in the huge megalopolis of New York whose culinary countenance has undergone a dramatic transformation as migrants from every corner of the world stream into the city.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s message to the newly established China Global Television Network sounds simple enough. It’s one he’s repeated over and over to state media during his nearly five years in power. “Tell China’s story well,” he said in a congratulatory letter published by the broadcaster on New Year’s Eve, the day the organization launched. 

India’s soft-power reach out is undergoing a makeover to meet the challenges of the resource-crunch in spreading its art, culture, culinary traditions, as well as entertainment and spiritualism overseas. Compared to countries like China or the UK, what India has been spending on leveraging its soft-power to win friends overseas remains negligible. Soft-power plays an important part in winning friends and goodwill abroad.

When Michelle Obama entered the White House, she had to contend with two onerous legacies. The first was a stale clutter of expectations and prohibitions about the proper role of The First Lady. The second was a cluster of stereotypes deeming black women unfit for any such role. [...] People were busily projecting negative stereotypes onto Michelle Obama from the moment her husband began campaigning. ​

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