Be careful what you wish for!

I came across a quote by Isocrates about freedom of speech and it made me contemplate recent events occurring around the world[1].

[1] http://www.jollybengali.net/2017/01/24/the-un-civil-states-of-america/ Democracy destroys itself because it abuses its right to freedom and equality. Because it teaches its citizens to consider audacity as a right, lawlessness as a freedom, abrasive speech as equality, and anarchy as progress.

sticker,420x460-pad,420x460,f8f8f8.u2

In some parts of the world the idea of freedom of speech is vigorously protected by rights activists and moderates alike as one of the fundamental aspects of liberal democracy. In the Western world this has been naturalised. For example, this was the basis of the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ solidarity response to the Charlie Hebdo atrocity in Paris which spread across the world via the internet[2]. For some there should be no limits to the freedom of speech as it allows for people in positions of power to be held accountable, corruption to be limited and infringements on individual rights be highlighted and challenged. However, political correctness also pervades the everyday lives of people in the West which is arguably contrary to freedom of speech[3].

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-35108339

[3] http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/not-a-very-pc-thing-to-say.html

 

internet-democracy

Additionally the internet and social media are celebrated as tools that potentially help to forward liberal democratic virtues[4] and reduce inequality and injustice (McPhail, 2010: 140). If traditional forms of media have been brought under the control of the elites as per Herman and Chomsky, then the internet is seen to provide a voice to the people. The internet is seen by many as a way of blowing open the restricted access to traditional media. Subsequently, it has enabled the rise of the citizen-journalist, bloggers, hacktivists[5], whistle-blowers (Edward Snowden) and Wikileaks. Barack Obama was also hailed for adeptly utilising social media in his 2008 campaign[6].

[4] http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/how-the-internet-is-transforming-democracy-8411474.html

[5] http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/more-hacks-anonymous-activists-criminals-317932  http://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/Hacktivism-Good-or-Evil  http://www.thing.net/~rdom/ucsd/3somesPlus/hacktivismcyberwars.pdf

[6] http://dragonflyeffect.com/blog/dragonfly-in-action/case-studies/the-obama-campaign/

 

cyber-terrorism-cyber-terrorist-information-warfare-michael-nuccitelli-psy.d.-ipredator-inc.

If there has been cyber-utopianism overload in some quarters, that notion has been largely dispelled by recent events. Firstly, Al Qaeda[7] and then ISIS or Daesh[8] have skilfully utilised the internet and social media to globally disseminate their anti-western rhetoric. If that was not bad enough for cyber-utopians and freedom of speech advocates, it is now faced with Donald Trump as President of the USA.

[7] http://foreignpolicy.com/2010/04/26/al-qaeda-central-and-the-internet/ http://thediplomat.com/2011/09/how-al-qaeda-recruits-online/   https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/al-qaida%E2%80%99s-extensive-use-of-the-internet

[8] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27912569  https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21660989-terrorists-vicious-message-surprisingly-hard-rebut-propaganda-war

 

41+Rbh18nBL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

By now it is common knowledge that Trump utilised aspects of social media such as Facebook and Twitter[9] to further his campaign beyond a supposed media blackout. In addition to those dark shadows permeating the web there is also the right-wing news website Breitbart[10] and a nascent but growing alt-right movement[11] with its poster boy Milo Yiannopoulos. Further afield does not appear brighter for democracy either when Evgeny Morozov’s explains how authoritarian leaders/governments are utilising the internet to restrict the freedom and internet access of their populace[12]. Additionally, we are in the midst of an escalating cyber-warfare and claims that Russian backed groups influenced the election of Donald Trump as US President.

[9] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/03/donald-trump-internet-success-twitter-us-election-media

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2016/11/26/how-trumps-campaign-used-the-new-data-industrial-complex-to-win-the-election/

https://medium.com/startup-grind/how-the-trump-campaign-built-an-identity-database-and-used-facebook-ads-to-win-the-election-4ff7d24269ac#.gtwwaqxvi

[10] https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/27/business/media/breitbart-news-presidential-race.html

[11] https://www.wired.com/2016/10/alt-right-grew-obscure-racist-cabal/

http://theweek.com/articles/651929/rise-altright

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/generation-identity-european-alt-planning-120102714.html

[12] http://bigstory.ap.org/article/c5723f49faab41f5bfb3d39599971343/internet-freedom-tool-democracy-or-authoritarianism

 

rioters

So are the internet and globalisation combining to transport us to a utopian global village or to McLuhan’s tribal concept of a global village?[13] The internet is ostensibly fast becoming a battle ground[14]. When one purveys recent events it is difficult to envisage anything but the latter. Even Obama and Merkel have recently iterated their belief that the internet has played a critical role in making a “clash of cultures” more direct and instilling uncertainty in people about their identities anegypt-protestd economic security’[15]. On the one side there is an amorphous, left-leaning entity forwarding liberal values of immigration and multiculturalism, integration and toleration, and freedom and individuality. And there is an alternate response to some or all of those values from religiously directed groups and groups considered nationalistically or racially motivated. All of which are utilising the internet and social media to voice their views.

[13] https://modernrhetoric.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/global-village.pdf

[14] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/robert-mercer-breitbart-war-on-media-steve-bannon-donald-trump-nigel-farage   http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/01/david-brock-breitbart-interview-shareblue https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2017/01/24/attack-on-alt-right-leader-has-internet-asking-is-it-ok-to-punch-a-nazi

[15] http://reason.com/blog/2016/11/17/obama-merkel-blame-social-media-for-bein

 

France-Sarcelles-Riots-HP

Because for all the espousal of political correctness and toleration, what really happens to those with moderately or radically opposite views to mass immigration, cultural hybridity and globalisation is that their views are seemingly driven underground and subsequently voiced through the internet and social media where anonymity can be used[16]. Consequently, they seem to have surfaced in the form of ISIS, alt-right, the Brexit result and the election of Donald Trump. Thus, Western politicians and media are starting to understand that Brexit and Trump are identifiable responses to the perceived ignorance of the welfare and views of sections of Western8015114-3x2-940x627 populations in preference to utopian ideals. Although this may seem far-fetched now, but are once-stable Western states heading towards a chaotic future of regular mass riots or even worse lawlessness and civil war similar to that recently experienced by other countries[17]? Those early Syrian demonstrators probably did not foresee the current situation.

 

Both Marshall McLuhan and the 13th century historian Ibn Khaldun[18] advocated the virtue of social cohesion for the betterment of a society and a country. It could be, that as global integration and significant demographic change is pushed forward it consequently creates dangerous fractures domestically or locally[19].

[16]   https://mcluhangalaxy.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/marshall-mcluhans-ideas-applied-to-social-media/

[17] Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Libya and the former Yugoslavia.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/06/anti-trump-riots-and-the-war-over-liberalism.html

[18]    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ibn-Khaldun http://www.muslimheritage.com/article/economic-theory-ibn-khaldun-and-rise-and-fall-nations

[19] Various events in France, the mass shooting by Anders Behring Breivik in Sweden, the riots in London in 2012 and the vitriolic responses to the Brexit result and those that voted for Brexit, and recent events and the demonstrations currently occurring across the US.

 

References

Marshall McLuhan            UNDERSTANDING THE MEDIA, 1994

Thomas L. McPhail, (2010), Global Communication: Theories, Stakeholders, and Trends.

Evgeny Morozov, (2012), The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate The World

Violet  K. Dixon, (2009), Understanding the Implications of a Global Village

http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/61/understanding-the-implications-of-a-global-village

Could social media be tearing us apart?

https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2016/jun/28/social-media-networks-filter-bubbles

Furthering the CNN Effect/Manufacturing Consent Debate and the Aylan Kurdi Case

The CNN effect is known for supposedly effecting the foreign policies of Western states forcing them into humanitarian actions. The CNN Effect is juxtaposed by the Manufacturing Consent paradigm which supposes that media output is dictated by policy-elites. However, analysis by academics, Robinson, Gilboa and Cottle et al, ocnn-effect-1f various research has highlighted discrepancies in examples of both concepts and concludes that neither is entirely convincing (Robinson, 1999, Gilboa, 2005, Cottle, 2008). The analysis finds that CNN media effect on foreign policy is contingent upon ‘a lack of policy coherence and clarity of interests’ and that the Manufacturing Consent paradigm holds whilst there is policy unity amongst elites which was more consistent during the Cold War (Robinson, 1999).

manufacture-consent

Robinson advocates a ‘media-policy interaction model’ as a ‘way forward beyond the debate impasse’ (Robinson, 1999: 308). This is based on the premise that media hold the capability to pressure states’ to focus on a particular issue and influence their response when there is a divergence amongst policy-elites on a particular issue. Therefore, if elite-policy cohesion is non-existence alongside media-framing of a humanitarian issue that calls on governments to intervene at a time when government intervention occurs or policy is adjusted, Robinson believes this supports his model (Robinson, 1999: 308). Additionally, Robinson highlights research by Martin Shaw in ‘Civil Society and Media in Global Crises’ which adds greater significance to the emotive framing of an issue and how that equates to the ‘potential pressure’ it may place on states to act (Robinson, 1999: 308). This is evidenced by the difference between the international media’s ‘documentary style’ reporting of the crisis in Liberia as opposed to ‘emotive and graphic’ coverage of the plight of the Iraqi Kurds (Robinson, 1999: 306). Thus, it was “the graphic portrayal of human tragedy”, that stirred Western senses.

Robinson’s ‘media-policy interaction model’ and Shaw’s emotive and graphic coverage point is exemplified by threfugee-crisis-aylan-kurdie tragic case of Aylan Kurdi. Aylan Kurdi was the young Syrian boy that was photographed drowned on a Turkish beach fleeing war-torn Syria with his family. The image, initially distributed through social media[1] and then other media, sparked widespread outrage[2] amongst publics, charities and influential actors and led to a greater focus on the plight of Syrian refugees throughout Europe[3] and calls to EU leaders to respond.

This forced European leaders to focus on an increasingly 1533_couriermailimportant issue, that some were possibly ignoring, or risk a fall in their popularity rating[4]. With large numbers of refugees entering into south-eastern Europe the reporting of the death of Aylan Kurdi and subsequent developments placed huge pressure on European leaders to allow large numbers of refugees into their respective countries. While there were statements made by some EU officials, in particular Angela Merkel, calling on European governments to take in their quota to ease the burden on countries in south-east Europe, some countries were more reluctant than others.

Thus subsequent events seem to confirm the lack of policy cohesion amongst EU policy-makers (state leaders) over the issue of accepting large numbers of Syrian refugees. This substantiates the idea that along with policy disunity and the med55f9ccd6531beia’s emotive framing of human tragedy media can effect publics and thus leaders responses to humanitarian issues as per Robinson’s ‘media-policy interaction model’. Although this did not force European leaders to conduct a military-based humanitarian intervention, it did force them to focus on the plight of Syrian refugees and increase their intake which was a humanitarian act[5].

This has since sparked an anti-refugee response in some parts of Europe which has also been reported through media[6] and has placed further pressure on some EU leaders to act. These further repercussions across Europe can be seen in the rise of populist candidates in France and the Netherlands[7], elections of conservative governments in Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Switzerland[8] and a general reluctance to allow large numbers of refugees and migrants beyond the Balkan states[9]. Germany initially responded to calls to allow more refugees by allowing nearly one million to enter, but it has seemingly been detrimental to the once untouchable Angela Merkel’s domestic popularity[10]. Theyourstory-brexit rise in anti-refugee sentiment in Germany has seen a recent shift in Merkel’s refugee policy[11]. It was also one of the major reasons for 52% of the British voters to vote for Brexit and has generally been a highly divisive issue across the EU[12]. It may also lead to catastrophe for the EU[13].

Although neither the CNN Effect nor the Manufacturing Consent paradigm adequately explain the politico-media relationship, Robinson’s media-policy interaction model is an interesting development forward. The application of the model to the reporting of Aylan Kurdi and the plight of the Syrian refugees shows it has currency.

Links

[1]

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/03/world/middleeast/brutal-images-of-syrian-boy-drowned-off-turkey-must-be-seen-activists-say.html

[2]

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/09/03/image-of-drowned-syrian-toddler-aylan-kurdi-jolts-world-leaders/?utm_term=.920f9d4c4d35

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34133210

[3]

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/editorials/make-your-voice-heard-sign-the-independents-petition-to-welcome-refugees-10483488.html

[4]

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/refugee-crisis-closing-borders-people-smugglers-human-trafficking-mediterranean-deaths-record-a7391736.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-04/world-leaders-react-to-dramatic-images-of-drowned-toddler/6748652 https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/04/world/europe/syria-boy-drowning.html?_r=0

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/03/syria-war-urges-leaders-accept-refugees-160330092114353.html

[5]

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/migrant-crisis-david-cameron-promises-take-thousands-more-syrian-refugees-head-heart-1518467

[6]

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/424001/syrian-refugees-europe-mistake

http://www.politico.eu/article/countries-rethink-commitments-to-accept-refugees-paris-attacks/

[7]

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-20/le-pen-advances-in-french-polls-as-security-concerns-sway-voters-izef48iu

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/01/why-geert-wilders-is-taking-over-dutch-politics/

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/03/europe/populism-in-europe-visual-guide/

[8]

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/europe/2016-06-03/rise-populism-europe

[9]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/11875200/Refugees-and-migrants-are-not-the-same-thing.html

http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21664726-politics-are-shifting-right-and-willingness-help-muslims-or-europe-short-supply-resistant

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/09/08/this-map-helps-explain-why-some-european-countries-reject-refugees-and-others-love-them/?utm_term=.6c511806c491

[10] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/31/merkel-defiant-over-refugee-policy-we-can-do-it/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/04/refugee-crisis-pushes-support-for-germanys-angela-merkel-to-four-year-low

[11]

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/spd-leader-attacks-merkel-for-u-turn-on-refugee-policy-1.2647252

http://fortune.com/2016/09/20/angela-merkel-refugee-apology/

[12]

https://www.rt.com/news/349055-refugee-crisis-brexit-austria/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3467629/In-s-100-000-reasons-EU-broken-IAN-BIRRELL-reports-Athens-queues-migrants-desperate-reach-Germany.html

https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/refugee-crisis-and-eu-migration-policy-to-blame-for-brexit-says-hungarys-orban/

[13]

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/684541/Sebastian-Kurz-Austria-Brexit-European-Union-EU-referendum-migration

 

References

Simon Cottle   GLOBAL CRISIS REPORTING: JOURNALISM IN THE GLOBAL AGE, 2008

Eytan Gilboa       ‘The CNN Effect: The Search for a Communication Theory of International Relations’, POLITICAL COMMUNICATION, 2005, 22, 27–44.

Piers Robinson ‘The CNN effect: can the news media drive foreign policy.’ REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES 25/2 : 301-309, 1999

 

 

 

 

 

The Futility of China’s Re-branding and Public Diplomacy Campaign

While military utility is seemingly waning, the concepts of a nation’s image and soft power are gaining currency[1]. Thus, China attempts to cultivate an attractive national image of a peaceful, trustworthy China[2]. A strong nation brand, or “competitive identity” is predicated on attractive culture and values, political ideals and policies, and a trustworthy reputation. (Nye, Anholt, van Ham et al) It can be buoyed by a healthy tourism industry, history and high-quality brands. Ultimately, it is credibility and truth. (Anholt, 2006: 40-1)


[1].This may well be disregarded if unfortunately interstate war breaks out due to the rise of China and US decline

[2] This can be seen in its role as broker over the North Korean nuclear stand-off and its attempts to win the opportunity to hold the 2008 Olympics (N. Snow & P. Taylor, 2009: 88)


the-nations-brand-hexagon-2000-simon-anholt

China had always seen itself as the great Middle Kingdom superior to all others (Snow & P. Taylor, 2008: 284). It has been insular and cared little about its international image (Ramo, 2007: 12). China’s public diplomacy strategy was predicated on a number of misunderstandings which have created serious deficiencies. China has a long-held belief that attractiveness derives from a nation’s size and power, hence the government focused on its economic ‘international position and not on its image’ and ‘China assumed its cultural and historical longevity will automatically earn it respect’ (Wang, 2008: 261). China also conflates foreign governments’ sentiments towards China with the, often contradictory, impressions their publics have (Wang, 2008: 260). The reasons for China’s recent focus on its international image are contained in its economic growth model; foreign direct investment and exports, and ambitions to present itself as a viable alternative to US hegemony. China is competing in the global market place over brand export, FDI and tourism (Melissen, 2005: 172), thus how foreign peoples view China is highly significant[3].


[3] http://en.people.cn/90001/90780/7092287.html


a-brief-introduction-to-nation-branding-6-728

China has been working hard to improve its national image and attractiveness utilising its history, culture, language and particularly its economic wealth[4]. (Snow, N & Taylor, P, 2009: 285)  China invests about $10billion annually, in what it terms as ‘external propaganda’, improving its image through the media, publishing, education, the arts, sport (Shambaugh, 2015). This can be widely seen in the foreign aid packages which totalled approximately $1billion in 2004 (Snow, N & Taylor, P, 2009: 283) and rising to $317billion in 2013 dispersed across ninety-two emerging-market countries throughout six regions[5] (China’s Foreign Aid Offensive). It is debatable whether all China’s efforts have had any impact[6]. So, why are China’s significant and numerous efforts not changing its image?


[4] https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2015-06-16/china-s-soft-power-push

[5] The regional shares of assistance 2001-2014 (in billions): Africa ($330), Latin America ($298), East Asia ($192, excluding the bulk of China’s aid to North Korea), the Middle East ($165), South Asia ($157), and Central Asia ($69) China’s Foreign Aid Offensive – http://www.rand.org/blog/2015/06/chinas-foreign-aid-offensive.html

[6] http://www.chinafile.com/conversation/why-chinese-soft-power-such-hard-sell http://en.people.cn/90001/90780/7092287.html


china-aid-to-africa

Despite the plethora of infrastructure projects[7] and the vast sums of aid there have been question marks[8] over China’s benevolence in Africa due to sub-standard building (domestically China has suffered from numerous structural collapses),[9] trade deficits, ignoring human-rights issues[10] and its lack of employing African labour[11]. Nevertheless, China has responded with rebuttals of the criticisms and to explain its investments in Africa[12].


[7] http://mgafrica.com/article/2015-09-18-multi-billion-dollar-deals-chinas-27-biggest-active-projects-in-africa http://theconversation.com/how-and-why-china-became-africas-biggest-aid-donor-57992

[8] https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/chinas-aid-to-africa-monster-or-messiah/

[9] http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2015/06/19/more-tofu-buildings-string-of-collapses-causes-alarm-in-china/  https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2012-08-29/china-s-bridges-are-falling-down    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-27274086  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2192940/Made-China-Motorway-collapses-10-months-built–manage-build-worlds-largest-armchair.html

[10] http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/29/is-china-good-or-bad-for-africa/  and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7086777.stm#map

[11] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/china-workers-africa_us_57ad51ace4b071840410bb60

[12] https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304893404579532220294759920?mg=id-wsj&mg=id-wsj


China has also delivered financial aid to disaster hit areas across East and South East Asia; $2.6million – 2004 South Asian tsunami and donated $2million alongside sending a support team of experts following an earthquake in Java in 2006 (Snow & P. Taylor, 2008: 284). However, despite China’s huge effort to improve its regional and international image it is undermined by recent and current issues such as Tibet,[13] crackdowns in Xinjiang,[14] China’s Taiwan policy,[15] stirrings of discontent in Hong Kong[16] and its predation of the islands in the South China Sea.[17] Despite China’s claims to legitimacy[18] of its building activities on islands and reefs,[19] there has been a vociferous response from several neighbours.[20]

islands-1650


[13] http://www.eastwestcenter.org/publications/tibet-china-conflict-history-and-polemics https://freetibet.org/about/china-argument

[14] http://thediplomat.com/2015/01/beijings-xinjiang-policy-striking-too-hard/

[15] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-34729538  http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/are-china-taiwan-heading-towards-conflict-17860

[16] http://www.spectator.co.uk/2014/10/hong-kong-vs-china/  https://www.ft.com/content/8e54c51c-e7a7-11e6-893c-082c54a7f539  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35068501  http://globalnews.ca/news/1587652/hong-kong-protests-key-issues-and-people-in-the-dispute/

[17] http://www.defensenews.com/articles/japan-warns-china-over-territorial-aggression

[18] http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/07/china-cares-south-china-sea-160714105126859.html

[19] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/30/world/asia/what-china-has-been-building-in-the-south-china-sea.html?_r=0

[20] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/08/vietnam-dredges-reef-disputed-with-china  https://www.wsj.com/articles/asean-chief-says-cant-accept-beijings-south-china-sea-claims-1430022922


China has also used its newfound economic muscle to host a series of prominent international events; the Olympics in 2010,[21] the Shanghai expo 2010,[22] and setting up the Chinese Super League. Unfortunately for Beijing the Olympics was not without controversy; human rights, environmental issues and fake performances.[23] This, of course does much to undermine China’s nation branding efforts in the areas of people and governance but it does not end there. If one considers the governance aspect of the hexagon which connects to FDI, China hardly has a great reputation either. China has been plagued by issues related to corruption[24] and missing businessmen,[25] dumping on international markets,[26] deliberately devaluing its currency[27] and international companies hardly compete on a level-playing field.[28] Additionally, it has suffered several serious health related scandals; SARS[29] and baby milk powder[30] amongst others.[31] An aspect of the hexagon which China has made great efforts to export and should excel is culture and heritage which also links to tourism, a very lucrative industry for China.[32] However, this is nullified by unfavourable images abroad of life in China and media stories of artists under (house) arrest and not being able to travel abroad.[33]


[21] http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ass/article/view/232/192

[22] http://www.ipsnews.net/2010/04/china-world-expo-a-launch-pad-for-lsquonew-public-diplomacyrsquo/

[23] http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/08/12/china.promises/ http://www.espn.co.uk/skiing/summer08/news/story?id=3543618 http://abcnews.go.com/International/China/story?id=5565191&page=1

[24] http://blog.transparency.org/2014/12/03/five-reasons-corruption-is-getting-worse-in-china/ http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/09/24/corruption-pollution-inequality-are-top-concerns-in-china/

[25] http://www.economist.com/news/china/21716054-chinese-agents-may-have-crossed-line-again-billionaires-disappearance-rattles-hong-kong http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35068501

[26] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35559540 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38298488

[27] https://www.ft.com/content/444c5bc8-3fca-11e5-9abe-5b335da3a90e https://www.wsj.com/articles/obama-administration-softens-criticism-of-chinas-currency-policy-1445286754

[28] https://backchannel.com/when-it-comes-to-china-googles-experience-still-says-it-all-bdc4eeedd32c#.k5cpiglc4 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-36561428 https://hbr.org/2006/11/hedging-political-risk-in-china

[29] http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/east/04/18/sars.china/ http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/04/21/1050777200168.html

[30] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/24/china-executes-milk-scandal-pair http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7720404.stm

[31] http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/29/world/asia/explainer-china-meat-scandal/ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8476080/Top-10-Chinese-Food-Scandals.html

[32] https://www.travelchinaguide.com/tourism/2016statistics/inbound.htm

[33] http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/is-ai-weiwei-chinas-most-dangerous-man-17989316/ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/11155045/Four-years-on-Nobel-Prize-winner-Liu-Xiaobo-still-unable-to-collect-prize-from-Chinese-prison.html


nobel-peace-prize-liujpg-1d80e5f8526072a1

What can China do? Can China rebrand its image in a similar fashion to that of post-war Japan and Germany; national image reinvention based on use of high-quality products and sporting achievement? (Anholt, 2006: 91, Melissen, 2005: 172) This seems highly unlikely as both nations were ostensibly US satellites.[34] More problematic for China is the international view of its products, with the exception of Lenovo, as either cheap or fake.[35] The Chinese government is attempting to tackle the problems though[36] and to learn from past mistakes. (Snow, N & Taylor, P, 2009: 287) However, the problem for China is that perception often exists long after the reality has died. (Anholt, 2009: 112) China counters the negative impression is a result of its weak position in the global media environment, probably due to restrictions on its domestic media, and thus not being able challenge the dominant western media. (Wang, 2008: 9)

Despite the criticisms of western media dominance, the roots of the problem reside in the government and its determination to maintain a one-party state. Its public diplomacy efforts are largely construed as contrived propaganda, its benevolence to Africa as self-aggrandisement and its initiatives government orchestrated rather than naturally emanating from its civil society or business sector. Thus, its efforts lack the credibility that is so essential for creating a strong nation brand. The best thing China can do is to release the shackles, allow democracy to flourish along with greater human rights and media freedom which should foster a civil society, innovation and entrepreneurialism and allow its people and manufactures to speak for themselves. That, however, seems a long way in the future.


[34] Thus they neither needed to build a military or engage in international political leadership.

[35] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016885/Fake-Apple-store-China-convincing-staff-fooled.html http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/08/amazons-chinese-counterfeit-problem-is-getting-worse.html http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=130381

[36] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/17/china-busts-50-factories-making-fake-branded-seasoning-dangerous/  http://www.economist.com/node/1730968


References

Anholt, S., (2009). Places: Identity, Image and Reputation

Anholt, S., (2006). Competitive Identity: The New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions

van Ham, P., ‘Place Branding: The State of the Art’ in G. Cowen and N. Cull (eds), Public Diplomacy in a Changing World

Melissen, J., (ed.), (2005). The New Public Diplomacy. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Ramo, J., (2007). Brand China. London: Foreign Policy Centre http://fpc.org.uk/fsblob/827.pdf

Shambaugh, D., (2015) China’s Soft-Power Rush https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2015-06-16/china-s-soft-power-push

Snow, N. & Taylor, P., (eds), (2009). Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy. New York: Routledge

Wang, Y., ‘Public Diplomacy and the Rise of Chinese Soft Power’ in G. Cowen and N. Cull (eds), Public Diplomacy in a Changing World