1 China s PD: Effectiveness, Implications, & beyond The Case of Europe China Watch: Second Maria Weber Annual Conference ISPI, Milan: 23 May 2011 Zhang, Qingmin, Peking University
2 I. Reasons for China s Proactive PD in Recent Years 1, Globalization has pluralized the actors in international relations. PD help facilitate creating a sustainable peaceful environment for China s development both home and abroad; 2, China s international image does not match its economic rise and political influence in the world; 3, To balance China s negative image: Prejudices, misunderstandings and misgivings about China still exist due to different ideologies and values, hangover from the Cold War or failure to adjust to China'srapid development.
3 II. Evidence of China s Proactive PD 1, Leaders emphasize PD as one of the three pillars of China s overall diplomacy. Secretary Hu Jintao says at the 11th Conference of Diplomatic Envoys Stationed Abroad in 2009 that China must work hard to make our country more politically ll influential, more economically competitive, build a more congenial image and make it more morally inspiring.
4 2, Government promoting public diplomacy actively. Supporting cultural exchanges: creating about 300 Confucius Institutes to teach its language and culture since 2004; Welcoming and sponsoring foreign students to study in China: no. increased from 36,000 a decade ago to 240,000 in 2010; Developing global media giants: investing $8.9 billion in external publicity; Providing information: issuing white papers on issues of global concern; regularizing press news briefing, facilitate foreign correspondents coverage in China; Making use of important events, e.g Beijing Olympics, 2010 Shanghai Expo to display the positive side of China.
5 3, The focus of Academic studies PD has arrested a growing attention with each passing day. A journal on PD and many centers of PD studies have been launched in recent years. Statistics show that there were only five articles published in China introducing the concept and activities of west PD before 2001; while this figure has skyrocketed in the last few years, especially since 2010.
9 III. The Paradox: Declined Image of China in Europe 1, The Goals of PD: Melissen: The essence of PD involves getting g g other people on your side, it is ultimately about influencing other people s p opinion and attitude. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang: It aims to gain the understanding, recognition and support from the public to help the international community view China in a right perspective. 2, EU, a test field of the effectiveness of China s PD.
11 The China s negative image has a remarkable rise in Europe in comparison with the BBC poll in 2005 France (up from 31% to 53%), Germany (up from 44% to 53%), Italy (up from 47% to 57%) United Kingdom (up from 34% to 41%), Polls by other institutions around the globe have shown similar results.
12 3, Paradox, puzzle Nye said, China s economic and military might have grown impressively. But that has frightened its neighbors into looking for allies to balance rising Chinese hard power. Ingrid d'hooghe, The Limits of China s soft Power in Europe: Beijing s Public Diplomacy Puzzle
13 IV. West Explanation 1, Political Explanation: Great powers often try to use culture and narrative to create soft power that promotes their advantage, but it is not an easy sell when it is inconsistent with their domestic realities. 2, Economic explanation: The GlobeScan/PIPA, the proportions rating China s trade practices as unfair were substantially higher in the countries that have a negative view of China s economic growth. th These countries are among China s largest trading partners.
14 Ingrid d Hooge s More comprehensive explanation: Politically: the slow pace in political reform and the situation of human rights in China. Economically, worries about China s economic influence on their country, and anxious about the consequence of China s economic rise on their employment and industry. Reflects the bumpy relations with China, just as the more positive view in Great Britain mirrors the UK s more stable relations with China.
15 V. Chinese explanation 1, Conventional idea: western media demonstrates strong negative tone in covering China.
16 2, My explanation: technical 1), State-centric system fits ill the nature of public diplomacy. Tradition diplomacy emphasizes state government as the actor of diplomacy, while public diplomacy is to address the issue of multiple actors. Government s nt too active involvement ntin public diplomatic activities reduces its credibility and hinders effectiveness.
17 2), Inexperience in PD skill: Unable to communication with foreign media, assurance and assurance does not balance negative view ; Difficult in balance domestic and international media. 3), New problems in coordination in PD Too many agencies are involving in PD Declining role of FM
18 3, My explanation: more substantial reasons 1), Different emphasize on soft power and public diplomacy. Western considers diplomacy, political ideal as equally if not more important than culture in soft power; While Chinese seems to put emphasize solely on cultural u aspect of soft power and diplomacy.
19 3), Bilateral relations more than public diplomacy that determine the mutual image Bilateral relations affect perception. A survey conducted by Global Time among people through internet shows that Great Britain (19.97% 19.97%), Greek (13.20%), and Sweden (11.58%) ranks the top three most tf favorite countries in China, while France (66.75%) is least favorable country followed by Germany (9.17 %) and Poland (7.59 %). The result of this poll reciprocate Britain, Germany, and France s perception of China (d Hooghe s) and such reciprocity in each side s perception demonstrates that the situation of bilateral relations affected mutual perception of the peoples in Sino-EU relations.
20 3), Political identity is the key The 2011 poll demonstrates a puzzle: While developed countries have negative perception, China s overall image among the 27 countries polled remains balanced, which means that China s image in Africa and Latin American did not change for the worse. Conflicting values, preconceived notions, a lack of knowledge on the other side between China and Europe are the key. These differences have always remained and will continue to exist.
21 VI. Implications 1, Implications There is limits i on public diplomacy: the situation i of bilateral relations does not solely depends on PD; The limitation of PD does not mean that the role PD should be downplayed; on the contrary, it shows there is more to do in PD; The survey and the rise of PD themselves indicate the significance of PD in the future because bilateral relations today is no longer solely inter-state relations but inter-societal or people to people relations. People matters in the future.
22 2, ForSino Sino-EU relations Politically ll good: Exchanges of high level visit frequent; more than 40 mechanisms of cooperation between China and EU; fields cooperation have expanded to more than 50; Economically relation enhanced: EU is China s first trade partner, largest export market, biggest sources of high tech-import, while China is the second largest trade partner, largest source of import, and second largest export market for EU. Bilateral trade reached US$ 380 billion in 2010.
23 3, Need for strong social foundation Chinese leaders engaging g in PD in EU Before his February 2009 visit to EU Premier Wen said he would tell people in Europe and people in the world a true China. In the last leg of his visit Wen gave a speech at Cambridge University calling for the audience to look at China in the Light of Her Development. '' In his Oct visit to Europe Wen made great effort to dispel the concerns of China in Europe: appealing to the entrepreneurs and the public with concrete figures and detailed facts that China s contribution to stabilizing world economic increase; he explained China s policy on such issues as RMB appreciation, domestic environment, rare earth export, ect. in an attempt to change the negative view on China.
24 Li Keqiang s Public diplomacy during his visit to four European In addition to his political and economic activities, Li published editorial or articles in the major national newspapers of the country he was about to visit one day before each leg of his trip, : An article in El PAIS on January 3, 2011 before he visited Spain; An editorial for Süddeutsche Zeitung on January 5, 2011 in Germany; An article in China Daily targeting at EU audience to reduce their worries about China s protection ti of IPR. An article in Financial Times while in UK entitled The World Should not fear a Growing China Even some European considers these activities are novelty in Chinese public diplomacy.
25 Foreign Ministry Officials encourages Chinese diplomats to be more active in going out to the public about China's domestic situation and China's foreign policy. They are encouraged to grant interviews from foreign press, go directly to foreign media by publishing articles in European newspapers. For instance, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Foreign Minister Yang; Chinese Embassador Song Zhe all published articles in the major newspapers in Europe this month.
26 The embassies in Europe followed the model of Chinese Foreign Ministry, opening the Chinese embassies to the public. Several Chinese Embassies in EU, including Roman, opened to the public this month.
27 Several Chinese Embassies in Europe organized the Preliminary i Contest for the 10th Chinese Bridge -Chinese Proficiency Competition i for College Students in May. Leaders from China and EU have agree to make 2011 The EU-China year of 2011, which is planned to jointly organize youth dialogue, seminars, workshops and expert meetings in China and Europe. A series of themed interactive programs is gearing up for extensive youth participation p in such events as international volunteering, knowledge contest, bicycle race and television ev features. es.
28 Concluding remark The decline of China s image in in Europe cannot be attributed to the failure of public diplomacy, but tells that PD has a more important role to play and more daunting task in overcoming the negative perceptions spring from conflicting values, preconceived notion, a lack of knowledge on the other side. Whether China s proactive PD in Europe is a response to the negative Chinese image is not important, but I think this is a right direction to go. And many of these activities are held on a reciprocal basis. Narrowing the perception gap and enhancing mutual understanding between the two peoples p might promote urgent task for China s public diplomacy toward Europe. Hope my visit and participation in this conference enhance my understanding of Italy and Europe.
29 Thank k You