China invests heavily in policies aimed at improving its image, guarding itself against international criticism and advancing its domestic and international agenda. The Chinese government seeks to develop a distinct Chinese approach to public diplomacy, one that suits the country's culture and authoritarian system. In “China's Public Diplomacy”, author Ingrid d'Hooghe argues that this approach is characterised by a long-term vision, a dominant role for the government, an inseparable and complementary domestic dimension, and a high level of interconnectedness with China's overall foreign policy and diplomacy.
Europe encompasses multiple, potentially conflicting, levels of public diplomacy (subnational, national, transnational, and supranational) and the European Union lacks a structured public diplomacy policy. However, a number of recent initiatives aim to reinforce the link between EU foreign and cultural policies, such as the EC Communication "European Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World" and the creation of a Member State expert group on culture and external relations (taking China as a test case).
As China steps up its public diplomacy efforts, what does this mean for Europe? Can Europe learn from China's approach to public diplomacy? Is there a degree of convergence between Chinese and European public diplomacy practices? Can public diplomacy help overcome stumbling blocks in mutual understanding? How could Europe improve its public diplomacy towards China (and the rest of the word)?
A lunch-seminar / book launch with:
- Ingrid d’Hooghe, Senior Research Associate, The Clingendael Institute
- Damien Helly, Deputy Head of programme Strengthening European External Action, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)
- Ji Rong, Deputy Director, Press and Communication Section, Chinese Mission to the EU
- Walter Zampieri, Head of Unit, Culture policy and intercultural dialogue, DG Education and Culture, European Commission
The debate was moderated by Jan Melissen, Senior Research Fellow, The Clingendael Instituten and Professor of Diplomacy, University of Antwerp.
The debate was held in English.
This event was held on occasion of the launch of the book “China's Public Diplomacy” (I. d’Hooghe, Brill Nijhoff, 2015).
This event was jointly organised with The Clingendael Institute.