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Zhao Qizheng (Dean of School of Journalism and Communication, Renmin University of China, Honorary Chairman of International Advisory Board of The Charhar Institute, Editor-in-Chief of Public Diplomacy Quarterly)
发布时间:2015年01月09日  来源:察哈尔学会  作者:Zhao Qizheng  阅读:1049

Thank you very much Mr. Gong.


After listening to these speakers, we all learned a lot about the connotation of city diplomacy. I think we have had a common understanding about city diplomacy. China has been engaging in city diplomacy activities and practices; however we didn't use the term "city diplomacy" specifically. China has more than one hundred and forty sister cities, which actually belongs to city diplomacy. According to the speakers, city diplomacy should be done both by the local governments and the local citizens, and should be done with the governments as well as the citizens. Just as Professor Xiong Wei pointed out that civil society and governments should be complementary in city diplomacy, which is the advantage of city diplomacy. Mr. Dao Shuming just mentioned the confusion about the definition of public diplomacy, which includes city diplomacy, people-to-people diplomacy, public diplomacy etc. It is true that to define a social sciences term is much harder than to define a scientific technology term. It would be troublesome if we are confronted with the obstacle of language. It is an absurd thing that after a lot of hot discussions, the philosophers or historians find what they argue about is not the same thing. USC, the first established center for public diplomacy in the world, and Renmin university of China, Beijing Foreign Studies University also establish their public diplomacy research centers.

 

The traditional public diplomacy refers to the central government transfer and communicates the domestic culture and policies to the outside world. Since the objectives are foreign public, it is hence called public diplomacy. I have visited nearly 10 countries this year, and the communication between the civil societies and me or officials are part of public diplomacy.

 

I totally agree with what our German friend had said -city diplomacy is about technology, talents and tolerance.

 

I would like to give you some examples to show that city diplomacy has more contents and how it is related the three "T"s. As ambassador Gong pointed out, city diplomacy should be reliable instead of grandiose. I think this idea is of great importance.

 

There are two examples to demonstrate that city diplomacy does have three "T"s. It is the exchanges between technology and talents. China and Europe shared many cases. I would like to cite the example of Shanghai and Wolfsburg, the basis of the Volkswagen. Shanghai is the head quarter of China's Volkswagen. Since 1980s, the communication between Shanghai and Wolfsburg factories has made great progress. It already exceeded GM and Toyota.

 

The day before yesterday, I paid a visit to the Ningbo, to see the newest, advanced auto assembly line built by China and Germany. The CEO of Volkswagen mentioned that this assembly line is the most advanced, modern assembly line in the world. It can produce a car per minute. The line is equipped with hundreds of robots. 86%  positions are hold by robots, only 14% are human. There are various brands of cars, but the same line can produce them simultaneously. This can be seem as a product of city diplomacy.

 

Another example I would like to cite is about the Sino-Japanese relations. The Sino-Japanese relation is now at the most crucial moment. We all now one of the fundamental reason is the territory dispute. The Japanese leaders refuse to acknowledge there is a dispute over the territory issue. Apart from this, the different understanding of the World War II also made Chinese doubt whether Japan cannot take off the history burden. However, Japan is China's neighbor. China hopes to establish friendly relations with Japan. We are close in culture as well as geography, how can we not be friends? Thus, some Japanese with breadth of vision, together with Chinese researchers, entrepreneurs and former officials created nongovernmental channels. One of these, is city diplomacy. For example, the Beijing and Tokyo Forum. It was founded during the best time of the Sino-Japanese relations, when I was just came back from Tokyo. We had already run 10 times, and maybe 10 times more, annually and alternatively.

 

German researcher Melissen mentioned that, city diplomacy should grow from talk to cooperation. British researcher Acuto said that, city diplomacy should work stable and in long term. I agree with them. City diplomacy is not about sending singing and dancing ensembles to performing national dances, to singing national songs. It is about politics, economic and culture. Now, it should include environment protection. In my opinion, city diplomacy is TV series alike. It is played in quarter. We are the scriptwriters, the directors and actors. City diplomacy talks should be as many as air routes.

 

Our Korean friend Mr. Song said that there are two conditions to do a better city diplomacy job. The first is  trust, the second is ability. Trust may not come from the start of city diplomacy ,but it will emerge from the process. If you do not start to communicate, you will lose the chance to develop trust. For ability, we need to rely on ourselves. So, I hope we all had some gains in the afternoon. We will continue to help the series goes on well. Maybe next time, we will meet in Germany, or in France, in Korea. I hope we all attend those meetings. Because if the series changes its  actors, it might tastes different.


Thanks again to all of you! 

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