The Government has acknowledged the importance of “soft power” in global politics with an unprecedented £85m investment in the BBC World Service to support initiatives in Russia, North Korea, the Middle East and Africa. Lord Hall, the BBC Director-General, welcomed what he described as “the single biggest increase in the World Service budget ever committed by any government.”
In Southeast Asia, President Barack Obama has taken a softer tone on human rights and corruption in a part of the world that rights groups claim is rife with abuses.
A year and a half since China began rapidly building and militarizing artificial islands in the contested, resource-rich waters of the South China Sea, the states most threatened by Chinese expansion are looking for ways to push back more forcefully.
In an ever more interdependent world, diplomacy is going beyond official relations and reaching out to people at all levels and between all parts of society, he says. “That’s why social media are gaining more importance. At the German Embassy we are using the networks more and more for our media and public relations activities.
Ahead of crucial election, musicians rail against government-sanctioned repression of persecuted Rohingya minority. The band Side Effect is one of Myanmar's most popular punk rock bands and among a growing number of musicians rallying to combat hate speech. The performance came as religious tensions escalate in the former military dictatorship leading up to a landmark general election on Sunday.
Delivering reliable Internet access to a country that has more than 17,000 islands, which are scattered across a vast area of the Indian and Pacific Ocean, is a challenge. Luckily for folks in Indonesia, Google is ready to take on that challenge with its Project Loon, which brings Internet access to remote areas via a network of high-altitude balloons.
After a decade, in the 2000s, in which China aggressively pursued warmer relations with many Southeast Asian nations, using a combination of diplomacy, aid, and soft power to woo its neighbors, the past five years have seen a significant chill in China-Southeast Asia relations.
Aside from the figures, the 2015 report also includes an analysis section. In it, ACPD makes more than 20 recommendations that are meant to iteratively strengthen and modernize public diplomacy and broadcasting strategy and tactics. The emphasis of the recommendations is on research and evaluation; supporting public diplomacy professionals; and how to keep American Spaces open and accessible.