The U.S. was a smart power in the past. Serious challenges from China now are reducing America's influence internationally. The U.S. has to wake up and focus on the task of rediscovering how to be a smart power again.

Google decided last week to stop censoring its search portal and shift all its Chinese search traffic to its Hong Kong operation. Google is playing at a much deeper political game than one would typically expect of a corporate entity, and in the process, it is further blurring the boundaries between technology and sovereignty.

Two weeks before the United States hosts a summit on nuclear security, one of its most important invitees, China, has yet to RSVP.

As resource-hungry China expands its holdings here, local groups and Tuareg-led political opposition are voicing concerns over Chinese investment in the Saharan state's graft-ridden mining industry.

American public diplomacy is being devitalized, more than ever at a time when "developing countries have lost interest in the old Washington consensus that promoted democracy and liberal economics," said Anatole Kaletsky of the Times, "governments and business leaders are talking about the new Beijing consensus - the Chinese route to prosperity and power."

A two-day promotional campaign to introduce the World Expo 2010 to be held in Shanghai to people of the Philippines was held at the Mall of Asia in Manila of the Philippines on Saturday, attracting 1,000 people.

The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, today (March 27) kicked off a "Faces of Hong Kong" campaign which is the Government's new marketing and communications strategy to promote the city via the Brand Hong Kong (BrandHK) platform.

In modern times, public diplomacy is becoming increasingly important. Governments of countries worldwide attach great importance to public diplomacy to promote their soft power and influence. The upcoming Shanghai World Expo, with exhibitions from 240 countries and regions, will be a platform for various countries to carry out public diplomacy and self-promotion.