`China must strengthen public diplomacy`

A researcher said that public diplomacy was an indispensable part of a country`s approach to foreign relations.

Beijing: China urgently needs to carry out more effective public diplomacy if it is to overcome the misunderstandings, prejudice and suspicions people in other countries have toward Beijing.

This is the appeal from Wang Lili, a researcher at the Public Communication Institute with Renmin University of China, China Daily said on Saturday.

Wang said that public diplomacy was an indispensable part of a country`s approach to foreign relations as well as an important supplement to its traditional diplomacy.

"Effective public diplomacy is essential if a nation is to promote its national interests and achieve its foreign policy objectives.”

"China`s present public diplomacy does not match its position in the world and it needs to be improved."

Want said that more non-state parties should be asked to take part in the country`s public diplomacy.

"China`s interaction with the world should not be just state-to-state and the relations between individual government representatives.”

"Enterprises, the media, NGOs and individuals also have an important role to play in improving China`s public image overseas," he said.

"Non-state actors even enjoy special advantages in promoting public diplomacy."

Wang pointed out that much of the public diplomacy of Western countries was carried out by commercial and civil parties that help create a national "brand" for their country.

"In contrast, the Chinese government is still the main player in China`s public diplomacy."

Wang said the media should play a bigger role in public diplomacy.

"Successful media performance is part of a nation`s soft power," the expert said.

"Although China`s media have made progress, they still lack awareness of their role in public diplomacy and the necessary expertise to carry out effectively.”

"The US dominates the opinion market. So the Chinese media should draw lessons from the US and be mindful of both the challenges and opportunities in the global arena."


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