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I have traveled to dozens of countries, but my trip to North Korea this past February was the most unforgettable experience of my life. My plan of going to a country with a “totalitarian” regime, known for its chronic famine and political oppression, intrigued many of my peers in China. They were surprised by my “unusual interest,” asking “Why North Korea?” I replied, “Because it is a different world; because I see similarities between China and North Korea; because as a Chinese citizen, I have the privilege to travel to North Korea easily.”

Since the beginning of the 21st century, China has been a rising star in the arena of public diplomacy. Its PD campaign, coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, involves fourteen separate Departments, including the United Front Work Department, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Culture, and the General Administration of Press and Publication. [1] The colossal campaign aims to brand China as a responsible, peace-loving, and culturally sophisticated nation.