Conference outlines public diplomacy strategy

By Li Huiru
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 19, 2012
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Charhar public diplomacy conference 2012, China's most influential non-governmental public diplomacy conference kicked off in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, on Aug. 18. [By Li Huiru/] 

Charhar public diplomacy conference 2012, China's most influential non-governmental public diplomacy conference, kicked off in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, on Aug. 18. Nearly 200 high-ranking government officials, business leaders, diplomats, experts on international relations, media and other related fields, and top media representatives are attending the two-day conference.

The theme of this year's conference is ‘International Communication of Chinese Culture'. Charhar Institute president Han Fangming explained in his opening address the reason for choosing culture as the meeting's core focus.

"Culture is one of the most focused aspects in public diplomacy," he said. "The ways a country relates to other countries have been multiplied. Based on the principle of coexistence of multiple cultures and accommodation of divergent views, cultural communication can help us resolve the misunderstandings and reach consensus." Han is also deputy director of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)'s foreign affairs committee.

Zheng Wantong, vice chairman of the National Committee of the CPPCC, delivered an opening speech titled "Public diplomacy involves all of us." In the speech, he emphasized that China's public diplomacy efforts start at home with the hearts and minds of citizens.

"In public diplomacy, career diplomats safeguard [the country's] national sovereignty and interests," Zheng said, adding that diplomacy efforts also "require the participation of the whole nation to showcase and define the country's image." He also called for China's NGOs and multinational corporations to place more emphasis on public diplomacy efforts.

In his keynote speech, Zhao Qizheng, director of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the CPPCC, stressed Chinese enterprises' role in the export of Chinese culture.

"There are increasingly more Chinese enterprises doing business outside the country," Zhao said. "The Chinese government has given great support to these enterprises. The ‘go global' strategy helps them expand [into] the international market. It is their responsibility to carry out public diplomacy."

Five seminars will be held during the two-day event, including Cross-border Dialogue through Books and Television, Forging China's Multinational Media Group, China-US Mutual Trust and Cultural Diplomacy, Cultural Diplomacy: the Wisdom of Inter-civilization, and International Communication of Religious Culture.

Charhar Institute is China's foremost public diplomacy think-tank. Founded in Oct. 2009, it is a non-partisan independent research organization. The institute is headquartered at Charhar Ranch in Hebei Province and has offices in Beijing and Guangzhou.

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