This news roundup explores soft power seduction strategies in China, Korea and New Zealand. 

[...] Public diplomacy has been embraced as a key tool for boosting Korea’s national image as a relevant international actor. [...] Korea is ever more focused on winning the hearts and minds of citizens across regions through the active showcasing of its cultural products, with “hallyu” as the crucial piece of the puzzle.

A pair of Chinese giant pandas that arrived here last month as part of a joint research project were officially unveiled to the public on April 21 at the country’s largest amusement park south of Seoul. After some 50 days of allowing the animals to get used to their new environment, Samsung Everland in Yongin, about 50 kilometers south of Seoul, held an opening ceremony for “Panda World” and showed the pandas to the public.

Headlines pivoted east in this news roundup with stories on China, Korea and Singapore. 

Korea has launched an aggressive campaign to bolster food exports to China, targeting the growing number of increasingly wealthy Chinese consumers, many of whom view Korean products as safer and more sanitary.

South Korea and Mexico have been working to expand their strategic partnerships across more diverse fields, and consequently, cultural ties have become stronger with the growing popularity of the Korean cultural wave.

Barcelona-born artist Antoni Muntadas takes a peek into the intense and conflict-ridden relations between Japan, South Korea and China with Asian Protocols, his exhibition that opens on Saturday in Tokyo aiming to spark a debate on self-censorship.

Boy band EXO and actor Yoo Ah-in were ranked as the most influential celebrities in Korea according to the annual ranking of the country’s version of business magazine, Forbes. [...] The list, titled Korea 2016 Power Celebrity 40, ranked celebrities based on sales, media exposure, broadcasting activities and professionalism.