A new Confucius Classroom was inaugurated at the Universidad del Caribe (Unicaribe) by visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong on Sunday in Cancun, in the southeast Mexican state of Quintana Roo. During the inauguration ceremony, Liu said that Mexican students' fluent Chinese and great performances made her feel the charm of cultural exchange, and see the bright future of friendly ties between the two countries.
Acting under directives from the central government, China's propaganda department is co-ordinating a global effort to step up its soft power outreach commensurate with its economic and political stature in the world, spending $US6.8 billion ($9.1 billion) a year to run and expand the international reach of official state-run media including Xinhua, CCTV, China Radio International and the China Daily.
Every Sunday afternoon, rain or shine, a group of people gathers at a park in Tokyo’s bustling Ikebukuro district, where Japanese people studying Chinese and Chinese living in Japan can engage in lively conversation.
Soft power has become strategically important for China and is regarded an important component of its “comprehensive national power” , a measure of its own national power.
When the Chinese government donated a library to the University of Technology Sydney few people noticed. Only slightly more seemed to care when groups friendly to Beijing began funding think tanks in Australia, making political donations and paying primary schools to run Chinese language programs.
The ABC has been embarrassed by self-censorship in Chinese language news items selected and posted on its AustraliaPlus.cn website. The broadcaster’s ABC International division recently admitted to Media Watch that the AustraliaPlus.cn website, with online penetration of China’s internet firewall to a potential audience of 700 million people, is actually meant to exclude news and current affairs, with the possible exception of business news.
Encouraging more American students to study Chinese and study abroad in China will ensure Sino-American relationship grows and flourishes in the future, U.S. educators have said. "The goal is to strengthen the overall U.S.-China relationship by ensuring very strong people-to-people ties," said Travis Tanner, vice president of 100,000-Strong Initiative Foundation, a non-profit U.S.organization that leads the Chinese language education initiative called "1 Million Strong."
Beijing’s investments in Australia’s Chinese language media have had negligible impact on the broader Australian public, but they are earning high dividends among the Chinese-Australian communities targeted through an active public-diplomacy program that is highly strategic, clearly focused, and generously supported.