Chinese movie poster showing photo of military commando

Xi Jinping on art and culture

The opening of a Chinese patriotic film, The Eight Hundred, scheduled for July 5 at the Shanghai Film Festival, has been canceled.  Apparently, its portrayal of a Nationalist army unit that stood against the Japanese invasion of Shanghai in 1937 was too positive.  Steven Lee Myers of the New York Times reports “. . .…

Two figures walk bathed in colored lights

U.S. Broadcasting Chronicles Revival in America’s Heartland

Noted columnist David Brooks recently asserted that what he termed “an American renaissance is already happening.”  He noted that as the national government appears to be divided and polarized, cities far from Washington’s corridors of power are working to transform their communities — large and small. I recently experienced this firsthand in Houston, Texas, America’s fourth…

Nobel Prize or Booby Prize

You may not think this column relates directly to public diplomacy but, in fact, it is all about public diplomacy. Certainly when President Obama was award the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, it was considered a public diplomacy coup.  Just being considered for the prize these days is a public diplomacy victory.  Indeed even in…

Folded newspaper section "China Watch"

A New Challenge for Public Diplomacy

Did public diplomacy just get a new job? Sharp power is the latest buzzword in international affairs.  Last week The Economist magazine featured a study by the National Endowment for Democracy by that name.  The new National Security Strategy dwells on how China and Russia are using traditional “soft power” instruments in new ways to advance their…

Global Dialogues and Nativist Travel Bans

The Trump administration’s immigration crackdown directly damages US cultural diplomacy, and undermines the flow of transnational cultural content in ways at once parochial and potentially damaging to the US as a source of global inspiration over the long term. This is how once influential US soft power can become irrelevant. The Trump administration’s anti-immigration crackdown,…