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Dao Shuming (Director of Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries of Shanghai CPPCC, Vice President of Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association)
发布时间:2015年01月09日  来源:察哈尔学会  作者:Dao Shuming  阅读:1598

Distinguished Director Zhao Qizheng, ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

 

I have been engaged in tourism for many years. As Ambassador Gong said, Chinese tourists' behaviors abroad are crucial for a country's diplomacy. Now I would like to talk something about "The Necessity of Strengthening Strategic Thinking of City Diplomacy ". From my point of view, China's public diplomacy is at a crucial moment when if there is no further effort, it would lose the momentum of current development. Chinese governors, officials, entrepreneurs are much better at economic issues. They can talk a lot about foreign investment; they can succeed in business negotiations. However, as for diplomacy, culture, exchanges, they would feel confused. So it is necessary for us to strengthen the strategic thinking on public diplomacy in four aspects.

 

Firstly, public diplomacy practice should precede theories. In China, Public Diplomacy was officially recognized in recent years, though such activities have begun long time ago. As Director Zhao Qizheng pointed out, People's Diplomacy Association was established very early, but it was little known for the limited transmission capacity in China. If the word People's Diplomacy has been given widespread attention in the international community, the word Public Diplomacy may not be needed any more. Until the twenty-first century, the word Public Diplomacy first appeared in China's official documents. In 2012the Political Report of the 18th CPC National Congress clearly stated that public diplomacy and cultural diplomacy should be progressed in a steady way so as to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of China overseas. The 2010 Shanghai World Expo became an unparalleled stage for Shanghai's public diplomacy. Shanghai's public diplomacy has achieved fruitful achievements. On February 2011, Shanghai took the lead in establishing Public Diplomacy Association, followed by Tianjin, Guangdong and other local governments. At the end of 2012, under the impetus of the 18th CPC National Congress, China Public Diplomacy Associations was also set up. In 2009, the non-governmental think-tank, the Charhar Institute, was established, which builds a good public diplomacy research platforms and forums. Provincial cities like Xining and coastal cities like Wenzhou have also set up public diplomacy associations with their own characteristics. Beijing Foreign Studies University and Tsinghua University have set up public diplomacy center. Jilin University has set up School of International and Public Affairs. Academic research and training on public diplomacy are just started in China.

 

Secondly, Public diplomacy needs overall planning and coordination. Although we have made some achievements, we have no reason to be satisfied with the existing achievements. The current situation of China's public diplomacy is far from satisfactory. The main problem is the lack of theoretical guidance and coordination. Basically speaking, all localities and departments act solely, each singing a different tune, but they cannot be effectively integrated. Public diplomacy is carried out relatively more active and more smooth where public diplomacy resources are abundant and the party committees and governments pay more attention to. While in many other areas, where public diplomacy is not incorporated into the main agenda of local work, public diplomacy is relatively quiet. Due to the lack of corresponding incentives and mechanism, local public diplomacy associations find it very hard to carry out the work. Even they have been trying, little was achieved. One of the reasons for that is local public diplomacy associations are set up by local CPPCC, who can give suggestions and take part in the discussions and administration of state affairs; they have no right to exercise the function of social management. The economic, cultural, scientific and healthy activities with foreign countries carried out by government departments can not only meet the needs of social development, they also have very realistic public diplomacy functions, which should be emphasized and given overall thinking.

 

Thirdly, public diplomacy strategy should be given priority. Any work would be done with many trials and experiments at the beginning. However, after the beginning stage, we should not continue like this. We should summarize timely to find out the rules. The construction of public diplomacy strategy can make us think deeper and guide our work in a comprehensive way. On May 2014, President Xi Jinping visited Shanghai during the CICA. He required the cadres at all levels to think globally and nationally. He also highlighted the importance of continuously improving the strategic thinking, strategic grasp and strategic operation ability. In response President Xi's requirement, Shanghai proposed to construct public diplomacy strategy so as to make Shanghai's public diplomacy enter a higher level, thus to explore and provide experience for the whole country's public diplomacy. We also notice that some experts have referred to the importance of public diplomacy strategy on various occasions; some people think it may be too early to consider the strategy. These views may be justified at some point. But we also believe that, from a national perspective, on one hand, the development of public diplomacy have met understanding, system, personnel and other limitations, which objectively impressed us the necessity of establishing the overall strategy. On the other hand, we have conducted public diplomacy in flexible and diverse forms. We have accumulated rich experience. Thus, it is feasible to research and construct of public diplomacy strategy.

 

What we are thinking is what should do on public diplomacy for the preliminary stage, and what shall we do for the next step and how to do it in the future? What should be the long-term public diplomacy mode? How to reasonably match it with the national diplomacy as well as other specific diplomacy?

 

This year, we have carried out research on the construction of city public diplomacy strategy research carried out by Shanghai International Strategic Research Institute and Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association. Through the strategic research, it is hoped that we can have further understanding of the regularities of public diplomacy so as to strengthen the top-level design. Shanghai foreign exchange activities will be related to reforms of current situation, which will be very difficult. But for the national overall diplomacy, we must face the challenges and have the courage to change. Otherwise the public diplomacy would not have any breakthrough and we will only be stagnated with our work.

 

There are definitions of public diplomacy nowadays, but the following should be kept in mind: Firstly, public diplomacy should express diplomatic ideas with Chinese characteristics. Economic and cultural activities are the main carriers of public diplomacy. Public diplomacy is related to the whole society and cannot be regarded as merely the affairs of government departments. All Chinese individuals and organizations have the responsibility of safeguarding China's national image and interests when facing foreigners.

 

Secondly, public diplomacy should adjust measures according to local conditions. Each city has its own characteristics. Although Shanghai has valuable resources to carry out public diplomacy, it needs to break through some bottleneck. One is the difference with other countries in the system and culture, which may leads to communication disorders. Another is the imbalance of hardware and software development. It is urgent to improve the quality for citizen and cadres.

 

Thirdly, public diplomacy in Shanghai should be connected with the overall municipal development strategy and the emphasis of public diplomacy lies in: We should highlight some key countries, cities and groups of people. We should make full use of specific stories to express ideas. We should understand the relations between publicity and public diplomacy. We need to have the corresponding human and financial resources by establishing Shanghai Public Diplomacy Foundation. It is the government's duty to strengthen the overall planning and coordination of public diplomacy.


Thank you. 

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