Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China is getting better at influencing media outside China [Quartz] #RisingChina #Media

Flooding headspace to gain consensus.

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China is getting better at influencing media outside China
by Lily Kuo
Source – Quartz, published October 22, 2013

China doesn’t just exert heavy control over state media; its influence over media outlets outside China is expanding, according to a new report by Freedom House.

For the past three years, the government has been investing millions of dollars in a global soft-power push. State newspaper China Daily publishes inserts of its English edition in major Western papers from the Washington Post to the New York Times. China’s Central Television, or CCTV, has hired dozens of experienced reporters from the US for its Washington bureau and rivals other foreign operations like Al-Jazeera America.

According to the report, China is also doing things like offering free editorial content to Latin American, African and Asian news organizations that can’t afford to send correspondents to China. It’s also subtly exerting influence over Chinese-language media in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Chinese diaspora communities.

China has donated aid money, for example, to state-run media in Africa and Latin America and flown their journalists to China for training. Left-leaning countries like Bolivia and Venezuela have also bought communications satellites (pdf, p. 20) from China. In Southeast Asia, governments with close diplomatic ties to Beijing, like Vietnam and Cambodia, appear to be pressuring their media to let up on criticism of China.

Please click here to read the entire article at Quartz.
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

Wang Leehom | Full Address [Oxford Union/Youtube] #RisingChina #Music #WangLeeHom

Bridging a great divide : American-born Chinese all-round entertainer Wang Leehom 王力宏 at the Oxford Union on  Chinese soft power deficit in pop culture, identity and the East/West cross-pollinaton that is nowhere near potential.

Also – Check out Wang Lee-Hom’s homage to his ethnic heritage  with a cover of  龙的传人 (Descendants of the Dragon).

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Wang Leehom | Full Address
Source – Youtube, published April 21, 2013
Download the mixtape here – : http://www.wangleehom.com/OxfordMixtape

Drawing on the lessons of his experience growing up in the US and then migrating East, Wang Leehom talks about Chinese pop music and the ability of music and pop culture to strengthen the relationship between the East and West.

Filmed on Sunday 21st April 2013

ABOUT WANG LEEHOM: The first Chinese pop star and actor to be invited speak at the Oxford Union, Wang Leehom is the perfect ambassador for Chinese pop music and commentator on the emergence of “World Pop,” not only because he has sold millions of albums and consistently been one of the hottest names in Chinese music since his debut in 1995, but also because of the unique journey he has taken from his childhood home of Rochester, New York, to concert stages and movie sets around the world.

Formally trained at Williams College and the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Leehom has written and recorded songs in a large variety of styles, including pop, rap, hip-hop, jazz and R&B, and is also known for his pioneering infusion of traditional Chinese elements and instrumentation into contemporary music. In addition to his successful solo concert tours, the latest of which will bring him to The O2 in London on April 15, Leehom’s diverse musical talents have seen him perform onstage with everyone from Usher to Kenny G to the Hong Kong Philharmonic, with which he appeared as as a guest conductor and violin soloist.

Additionally, Leehom is an acclaimed actor who has starred in the Golden Lion Award-winning “Lust, Caution” from Ang Lee, “Little Big Soldier” opposite Jackie Chan and the self-written and directed “Love in Disguise”. He is also well known for his philanthropic work and environmental advocacy, which were cited as reasons he was the only Chinese recording artist selected as a torchbearer for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

With over 33 million followers, Leehom is among the most followed personalities on Weibo (a Chinese analogue to Twitter). Source – Oxford Union, 2013

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, Ethnicity, Greater China, History, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Music, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Taiwan, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., Youtube

Chinese Media Duped By American Satire…Again [The Diplomat] #RisingChina #Media

China’s fourth estate misdirected by the semantics of satire. See the blog post on the New Yorker here.

…While the state media outlets might not get the joke, China’s “netizens” almost always do, and ridicule the Chinese papers for falling for such outrageous pranks.

Interestingly, whilst the Amazong story may not have hurt too many feelings… Check this out – Let’s Hope Andy Borowitz Doesn’t ‘Report’ a U.S. Nuclear Strike

Memo to Andy Borowitz: China has about 50 nuclear missiles capable of reaching the continental United States. Just something to keep in mind next time you’re writing a fake news story. Sometimes the humor gets lost in translation.

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Chinese Media Duped By American Satire…Again
By Zachary Keck
Source – The Diplomat, published August 8, 2013

Source - The Diplomat

Source – The Diplomat

China’s media is no stranger to getting duped by American political satire.

One of the best known incidents of this took place last November when America’s “finest news source”, the Onion, a satirical newspaper and website, named North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un as its sexiest man of 2012. Soon after, Communist Party publication People’s Daily ran a report on the Onion story, replete with the whacky descriptions of Kim’s “air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side,” and “impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle.” The People’s Daily even put together its own 55-photo slideshow of the “sexy” North Korean leader for the story.

The Onion was thrilled, as you might imagine, posting a link to the People’s Daily story (before it was taken down) urging its readers to “please visit our friends at the People’s Daily in China, a proud Communist subsidiary of The Onion, Inc. Exemplary reportage, comrades.” The Onion also sent out an email explaining that the People’s Daily “has served as one of the Onion’s Far East bureaus for quite some time, and I believe their reportage as of late has been uncommonly fine, as well as politically astute.” As you also might imagine, the People’s Daily was less thrilled about being duped, taking down the story and refusing to comment on it.

But that unfortunate incident hasn’t prevented it from making a similar gaffe. According to South China Morning Post, numerous Chinese news outlets have picked up a story written by the New Yorker’s satirist Andy Borowitz, and ran it as a real news story. Earlier this week, Borowitz posted a fictitious story on his New Yorker blog, The Borowitz Report, claiming that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had accidently purchased The Washington Post this week while shopping around online. In the report, Borowitz quotes Bezos as saying that he didn’t know how the newspaper—which he purchased for US$250 million—had ended up in his online shopping cart.

“I guess I was just kind of browsing through their website and not paying close attention to what I was doing,” The Borowitz Report pretends to quote Bezos as saying. “No way in hell would I buy the Washington Post. I don’t even read the Washington Post.”

Please click here to read the entire article at the Diplomat.
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

Talent shows get thumbs down from regulators [Global Times] #RisingChina #CulturalCapital

China takes step toward further media convergence… 国家广播电影电视总局 + 中华人民共和国新闻出版总署 forms tag team as print and broadcast regulator.

To prevent the homogeneous development of TV programs and to provide audiences with diversified choices, a restriction was announced on July 24. A news release from The State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television to Xinhua stated, “Satellite broadcasters should stop investing in any new singing competition shows; shows that have already been produced, but have not yet aired, should not be aired until after the summer vacation; and the series currently being aired should be aligned with different schedules.” See Repeat Offenders (Global Times, July 28, 2013)

Also –

Hong Kong: Two powerful Chinese media regulators merge (see Mondaq.com, July 24, 2013)

According to the Plans for Institutional Reform and Functional Transformation of the State Council, the newly merged ministry of broadcast and press is principally responsible for the overall planning of the development of the press, publication, radio, film and television industries, the supervision and administration of the relevant organizations and businesses, as well as the contents and quality of publications and radio, film and television programs, and copyright administration….

The new “super ministry” was formed by combining and streamlining the functions previously performed by each of SARFT and GAPP separately on its own. Such combination does not appear to have changed the power configuration among itself, the Ministry of Culture, the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”).

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Talent shows get thumbs down from regulators

By Yu Jincui
Source – Global Times, published July 28, 2013

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), formerly known as SARFT, is imposing new restrictions on televised musical talent shows.

It announced last week details of “regulations and controls” to cap the number of singing competition programs, demanding a stop in the creation of new entries in the genre and the postponing of the airing of shows not yet broadcast. It also warned the television stations to avoid “extravagance, dazzling packaging and sensationalism” in the shows, and encouraged originality and creativity in show content.

The purpose of the new regulation, as SAPPRFT stated on Wednesday, is to “avoid the monopoly of television programs, offer the audiences more options and satisfy people’s diverse demands for a more vibrant television culture.”

It has been reported that 13 singing talent shows were previously scheduled to be aired this summer.

Though many questioned whether Chinese audiences need so many repetitive shows, government watchdog’s decision to step in is also disfavored by quite some audience members. They think the decision should be made by the market.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, global times, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Great Wall, Ideology, Influence, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Strategy, The Chinese Identity

12th ‘Han-Language Bridge’ competition 第十二届”汉语桥” [China HunanTV] #RisingChina #CulturalCapital

Chinese public diplomacy with edutainment at its sharpest, in a reminder to the world – we’re not a militant monolith!

University students from 77 countries congregate to exchange narratives in modern and traditional Chineseness. That their introductions took up more than 11 minutes out of the 79 minute runtime was pretty cool..

It is also noteworthy that Chinese state media channels are not exactly sitting idly as state instruments. Their creativity and platforms for expression are worth catching up on, if Mandarin isn’t a barrier. In any case, the production and narrative values are good enough it’s worth watching if you’re got an hour plus to spare.

For more – 中国湖南卫视官方频道 China HuNanTV Official Channel to see a spread of their content.

第十二届”汉语桥”15强诞生 五洲选手尽展别样风情-【湖南卫视官方1080P】20130717

【湖南卫视第十二届”汉语桥”-本期精彩】汉语桥共赏东方美。同筑中国梦!本届”汉语­桥”世界大学生中文比赛以”我的中国梦”为主题。来自77个国家96个赛区的123名­优秀大学生选手将参加复赛和决赛,一展他们出色的汉语能力和亮丽的青春风采。梅葆玖、­单田芳、易中天、元华等文化艺术界大师亲临现场,分别以京剧、评书、解字、武术的形式­展示中华文化之精髓。

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, Government & Policy, Greater China, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Youtube

Percussion shows me the world [People’s Daily] #RisingChina #GlobalPulse #Percussion

Good stuff! No pulse = no life.

Better days ahead for the global pulse…

without the excess baggage of visual culture nor colour symbolism.

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Percussion shows me the world
Edited and translated by Huang Jin
Source – People’s Daily Online, published June 14, 2013

The performance “Mountain Drums” played by 39 visually impaired students from Guiyang Special School won gold prize at Disabled Arts Festival of Guizhou Province on June 7, 2013. The 39 students, from 9 to 21, are from a world without color.

Because of the visual impairment, the practice is very hard for them. However, the percussion brings them happiness and tears, and shows them the world…

Long Wei, a sophomore, practices drum. He never stops practicing, even in April when his mother died. Pnoto - Chinanews, by Zhang Yuan

Long Wei, a sophomore, practices drum. He never stops practicing, even in April when his mother died. Pnoto – Chinanews, by Zhang Yuan

An Xingxing, 9, the youngest player in the team, practices percussion. It was the third bamboo tube that she has broken. Photo - Chinanews by Zhang Yuan

An Xingxing, 9, the youngest player in the team, practices percussion. It was the third bamboo tube that she has broken. Photo – Chinanews by Zhang Yuan

A teacher holds the students' hands and teaches them how to feel the rhythm. Source - Chinanews by Zhang Yuan)

A teacher holds the students’ hands and teaches them how to feel the rhythm. Source – Chinanews by Zhang Yuan)

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Disabilities, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Music, Peaceful Development, People, People's Daily, Population, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

8 things about independent Chinese travelers [Affinity China] #RisingChina #OutboundTourism

Affinity China offers a first-hand account that can also be seen as eight resets to update one’s view of the Chine outbound upper crust. As the author states, her time studying in the US was helpful in more than one way during her travels in Europe.

More about Affinity here.

Cue expiring 20th century sepia-toned postcard-themed notions of Chinese travelers?

Bottomline – despite its steady climb the yuan at today’s rates, is still 5-6 yuan to a greenback. It is not hard to quickly extrapolate where Chinese outbound tourists stand in the Chinese food chain. Especially so if they have the means to flaunt it with the Euro.

The luxury market in a way is at the tip of China’s spear to send feelers experimenting with the best the world has to offer. In a positive light, Where they travel, there is a more synergistic transfer of wealth to host country where common language grows to common cultural respect. Over time the good ones too will enculturate the rest of the Chinese demographic.

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8 things you should know about independent Chinese travelers
LIN XU
Source – China Luxury Network, published month n.d, 2013

Tell us how much we are saving when we shop in your store.
Everyone already knows by now that Chinese travelers love shopping for luxury goods when they travel overseas. Everyone also knows by now that this is because retail prices of luxury goods in mainland China are much higher than Europe and North America. Many of my friends from China travel overseas just to shop. They often complain about the complexity and the long wait at the airport to receive tax returns and all the research they have to do on prices in each different market on the globe before they go shop.

It would be a really effective sales tactic if the brand’s sales representatives saved them the trouble of researching and let them learn how smart a purchase they would have made on items in the store – how much lower the prices are, how the styles are exclusive in your store vs. the counterparts in China. Keep the fact sheet handy for the big spenders. I understand that from a global brand perspective this is probably not a standard sales training tactic on how to sell to Chinese travelers, but the fact is they are already going to great lengths to do this research themselves before they walk into your store. From a customer experience perspective, being greeted by friendly sales staff overseas who can share exactly how much the Chinese travelers would be saving by shopping in their store would help generate more short term sales and help create a long term affinity for the brand.

Do you offer a global warranty and customer service in China for products we buy overseas?
If you present yourself as a global brand in China, you need to ensure your customer service is global too. It really becomes an uncomfortable dilemma for the Chinese traveler when they have to choose between a better priced item that is 20% lower overseas but comes with no warranty once they bring it back home or buying the higher priced item in China with a 2-year standard warranty. Again, from a customer standpoint we don’t understand why there should be a difference. Your brand is a global brand to us and therefore the warranty and service you offer should be too. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Advertising, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Entertainment, Europe, Finance, Food, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Internet, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, U.S.

Special Report: Why China’s film makers love to hate Japan [Reuters] #RisingChina #ScarTissue

Sino-Japanese relations are riddled with scabs aplenty, and flesh wounds run viscous and deep.

Chest thumping over Japan’s real and imagined threats are not new, they have run deep since proto-nationalism in the late 1800s.

They have paid a huge cost for failing to stand up to Japan, many times in living memory for many. They will not want a repeat of losing and then having to foot the victor’s repair bill, stripping itself of means to rebuild.

Of wider note then was Chinese resistance against foreign domination that culminated in the Battle of Peking. The guns ablazing Eight-Nation Alliance made China pay them $335 million (over $4 billion in current dollars) plus interest over a period of 39 years in 1901. It is hard to find breakdowns and how much goes to, who online. However, I found them in a visit to Sun Yat Sen’s former HQ in Singapore.

The world has to be realistic. There is no reason to believe the Chinese are preparing to be defeated on this one. Give and take on smaller issues yes, but when it comes to territorial disputes, I think no chance will be given. Its maritime force is not battle tested, and will itch for battle test-worthiness.

As for the central message behind the article below, it is noteworthy how China conducts its domestic charm offensive, through making cultural capital one of its to eight priorities for this phase of rise.

Perhaps it is unsurprising the us and them perceptual tendency is being amplified by broadcast media. Only this time it isn’t one-message fits all push propaganda like the Mao era. This is now a plethora of choice with 1.3b individuals with a developing sense of identity.

The state is going all out to build an effective dominant ideology stemming intertextually through a massive media ecology on a scale the world has never seen. And through that, the modernist Chinese identity is adapting contemporary values as China’s rise and place in the world shapes its view of itself, and how it sees itself in the world. One only has to visit China and just spend a day channel surfing, to see for oneself.

The tensions and the propaganda go far beyond the current spat. Underneath it all lies a struggle for power and influence in Asia between China and Japan – and political struggles within China itself. Many China watchers believe Beijing’s leaders nurture anti-Japanese hatred to bolster their own legitimacy, which is coming under question among citizens livid over problems ranging from official corruption to rampant environmental pollution. David Lague and Jane Lanhee Lee

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Special Report: Why China’s film makers love to hate Japan
By David Lague and Jane Lanhee Lee
Source – Reuters, published Hengdian, China | Sat May 25, 2013

20130527-070649.jpg

(Reuters) – Shi Zhongpeng dies for a living. For 3,000 yuan ($488) a month, the sturdily built stuntman is killed over and over playing Japanese soldiers in war movies and TV series churned out by Chinese film studios.

Despite his lack of dramatic range, the 23-year-old’s roles have made him a minor celebrity in China. Once, Shi says, he perished 31 times in a single day of battle. On the set of the television drama “Warning Smoke Everywhere,” which has just finished shooting here at the sprawling Hengdian World Studios in Zhejiang Province, he suffers a typically grisly fate.

“I play a shameful Japanese soldier in a way that when people watch, they feel he deserves to die,” Shi says. “I get bombed in the end.”

For Chinese audiences, the extras mown down in a screen war that never ends are a powerful reminder of Japan’s brutal 14-year occupation, the climax of more than a century of humiliation at the hands of foreign powers.

Japanese foreign-policy scholars say more than 200 anti-Japanese films were made last year.

Please click here to read the full report at Reuters.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, International Relations, japan, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Reuters, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Beijing cracking down on illegal barbecues [People’s Daily] #RisingChina #BeijingBBQCulture #Pollution

Perhaps a shift to hot plate technology is in order.

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Beijing cracking down on illegal barbecues
By Zheng Xin
Source – Peoples’ Daily, published May 14, 2013

Beijing is stepping up efforts to reduce illegal barbeques, to cut down on roadside airand noise pollution.

May is the peak time for outdoor grill cooking, which takes a heavy toll on air quality,traffic and residents, said Dang Xuefeng, spokesman for the capital’s bureau of cityadministration and law enforcement.

“As the weather warms up, the streets gradually fill up with roadside barbecue spots,sizzling kebabs on the grill and cold beer, which also create serious air pollution andundesired noise for the neighborhoods,” he said.

Please click here to read the full article at Peoples’ Daily.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Domestic Growth, Entertainment, Environment, Influence, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, People, People's Daily, Pollution, Social, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, Trade

Iron Man 3 illustrates a Chinese puzzle Hollywood is hoping to solve [Guardian] #RisingChina #Hollywood #Ironman3

Hollywood finds it tricky to produce their own cultural capital while willingly winning Chinese consensus.

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Iron Man 3 illustrates a Chinese puzzle Hollywood is hoping to solve
US-Chinese co-productions don’t appear to be hitting the spot, as Chinese film-makers are catering for domestic audiences with growing success
Source – Guardian Film Blog, published April 24, 2013

There’s all sorts of meta-cinematic devilry going on in one of the strangest blockbusters of the decade – Iron Man 3. In one scene Ben Kingsley’s nemesis, the Mandarin, halts for a lecture on the authenticity, or otherwise, of the “Chinese” fortune cookie – right before laying waste to Grauman’s Chinese theatre in Hollywood: “Another cheap American knock-off.” You can’t help but wonder whether this particular tirade is Iron Man 3 writers Shane Black and Drew Pearce comment on the process of trying to adapt the film for Chinese audiences, and the bigger, east-facing game the whole of Hollywood is playing.

With an eye, like everyone else, on a fistful of yuan, Iron Man franchise-holders Disney and Marvel partnered with Shanghai-based media agency DMG, who also helped produce Looper last year, for the third film. But the suggestion last summer that Tony Stark might be making a radical turn towards China never quite transpired. The Mandarin was tactfully steered away from the yellow-peril caricature of the comics, becoming a prototypical icon of terrorism instead. Some scenes were filmed in Beijing in December; Fifth Generation veteran Wang Xueqi appears in an early party scene, and more of this material – including a cameo for starlet Fan Bingbing – will appear in a special Chinese cut.

And that’s it. Another cheap American knockoff. It’s essentially the same piece of blockbuster chinoiserie that we’re seeing more and more these days as the studios make eyes at China: like The Karate Kid remake’s relocation to Beijing (still with an American protagonist), the Asian-scented water approach of GI Joe: Retaliation, or James Bond’s luminescent Shanghai skyscraper fight in Skyfall.

Please click here to read the rest of the article at its source.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Entertainment, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

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