china

November 13, 2009

An overseas trip by a U.S. president is always costly, logistically challenging, and full of colorful backdrops. President Obama’s trip to Japan, Singapore, China and Korea is no exception. If anything, there will be more excitement than usual, since it is his first trip to the region as President and there is still tremendous foreign public interest in this appealing, young, intelligent leader, his inspiring speeches, and his photogenic wife.

Why, then, is the mood so downbeat among the U.S. press corps — the “traveling press” — as they begin covering this trip?

Under the slogan "Innovation for Better Life", Israel will highlight innovation at its pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai along with traditional Jewish culture. This is the first time that Israel is building a national pavilion at a World Expo.

The pavilion consists of three areas — Whispering Garden, Hall of Light and Hall of Innovations.

We often get reminders that a new Administration in Washington means new leadership at U.S. Embassies overseas. Within a year of taking office, an incoming President generally will have nominated (and the Senate approved) new Ambassadors for all major overseas postings. In many foreign government establishments, these appointments are highly anticipated events, more closely watched than any foreign envoy’s arrival on Washington’s Embassy Row.

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously lamented "How much of human life is lost in waiting" and observers of U.S. public diplomacy these last few months could be forgiven for saying the same thing. While other areas of government have something to show for the first one-hundred days of the Obama administration, formal public diplomacy initiatives have been hard to find.

When will China ever learn? It’s not how loud you speak, or how many times you say something, but what you say that counts. Reports that the Communist Party of China (CPC) has launched a new English-language newspaper, the Global Times, should be greeted with the usual mixture of delight (yet more evidence of the Chinese jumping on the public diplomacy bandwagon) and cynicism (yet more evidence of the Chinese jumping on the public diplomacy bandwagon).

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