President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday once again played up the notion of the nation’s soft power, saying its pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai had helped to reduce tensions in the Taiwan Strait and prevent war.
Sheikh hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Public Works '&' Chairman of the National Media Council (NMC), has expressed pleasure after UAE Pavilion was named by Shanghai Jiao Tong University as the most popular international pavilion at EXPO 2010.
But some had grander hopes for the Expo – namely, that it would ‘showcase China’s soft power’... As it happened, the events that swirled around the Expo’s closing weeks showcased something quite else: Why China doesn’t have much soft power and why the West, broadly defined, still has it in spades.
As an effort to attract Chinese tourists to the US or improve America's image in China, the pavilion was an epic failure; but as a symbol of Obama's America, it wasn't bad. It's not very surprising that Shanghai Expo 2010, which just ended (coincidentally) on Halloween night, never attracted much interest in the US.
Last week the Shanghai Expo 2010 closed. On three sweltering days this summer I toured the vast and frenzied space that was the Expo. My objective was to see how the nations of the world were representing themselves to the Chinese public and how each responding to the Expo’s official theme: ‘Better City, Better Life.’
Last week the Shanghai Expo 2010 closed. On three sweltering days this summer I toured the vast and frenzied space that was the Expo.
Despite the official tally of 73 million visitors, the vast majority of them mainland Chinese, the world's response to Shanghai's self-proclaimed moment in the sun has been been a gigantic, collective yawn. And no wonder.
On Oct. 29 and 30, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy's research team in Shanghai released the final two video conversations in the series. The first video highlights views from the Chinese pavilions, including its national and regional provinces and the second features an interview with the Secretary General of the International Exhibitions Bureau. Click here to view the videos.