Can the U.S. and China get along?

This op-ed by CCLP senior fellow Orville Schell was originally published in The New York Times. For longtime observers of China, the last two years have been unsettling. Under Xi Jinping the Chinese Communist Party has made it more difficult than ever to hope that the People's Republic is still dedicated to the agenda of "reform and opening up" that was the mantra of the Deng Xiaoping era. Instead, Beijing has served up a neo-Maoist cocktail of autocracy within and truculence without. Despite meetings between Presidents Xi and Obama, and a yearly Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the level of discouragement…

Country music explored as a tool of U.S. diplomacy

WASHINGTON – It is well known that Dizzy Gillespie and Dave Brubeck toured the world as American Jazz Ambassadors, and American symphony orchestras have played throughout the world. Less well known is the role country music has played and is playing in U.S. public diplomacy. That was the focus of this month's CCLP Communication Leadership Lunch Forum here, presented by David Firestein (pictured right), a China expert and vice president at the East West Institute. "For public diplomacy to be effective," said Firestein, "it has to be organic, personal and emotional." He added that it must be "true to who…

CCTV America fights credibility issues, reaches audiences far beyond the U.S.

WASHINGTON – CCTV America must constantly battle the perception that its funders in Beijing are slanting its news broadcasts, but that may not be the case – or at least it may be an exaggeration. That was the word from Mike Walter, a news anchor at CCTV America, who spoke at Monday's CCLP Communications Leadership Forum here in Washington DC. "We have to work every day to build credibility," he said. "We have to work harder than other networks."…

U.S. international broadcasters work to achieve credibility, and understanding, in the Middle East

WASHINGTON — "Oh are you working for the CIA now?" That is how Samir Nader, State Department correspondent for Radio Sawa described his friends' reaction when he joined the U.S. radio network beamed to the Middle East. But the key to their acceptance, and their large audiences, is that they are the only full-time correspondents covering the White House, Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department in Arabic language broadcasting. So people in Iraq, Syria and neighboring countries can see and hear that they are getting the news direct from Washington. And they can see that Americans disagree — and…

U.S. Public Diplomacy Advisory Commission considers role beyond the State Department

WASHINGTON – Katherine Brown, Executive Director of the U.S. Public Diplomacy Advisory Commission, speaking at this week's CCLP Communications Leadership Forum here, said she was contemplating expand its review of public diplomacy to include agencies beyond the State Department – notably the Department of Defense. Katherine Brown, Executive Director of the U. S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, and Chris Hensman, Senior Advisor at the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy Brown's statement was in response to a question, the questioner noting that some agencies – especially the Pentagon – have far more resources than State. And the first sentence…

Informal diplomacy can bring results, Cowan explains at Central European University in Budapest

CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan gave a talk at Central European University in Budapest on May 21 to discuss the famous "shirt-sleeves" summit at Sunnylands between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, highlighting the diplomatic power of such informal meetings. Photo by CEU/Daniel Vegel. "Although the meeting between Obama and Jinping was not official, they did come to an important environmental agreement to phase out harmful hydrofluorocarbons (greenhouse gases)," reports CEU. "There's something about the importance of this kind of informal meeting and maybe we don't do enough of it," said Cowan. "It's the 'gift of time' -…

Author urges U.S. public diplomacy to include debates about media content standards

WASHINGTON – What is good for U.S. media businesses but bad for American diplomacy? That is the question posed at today's CCLP Washington forum by Martha Bayles, author of "Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America's Image Abroad". Author Martha Bayles with Pubic Diplomacy Council president Don Bishop (left) and CCLP senior fellow Adam Powell (right) Since 1999, she said, U.S. media companies have more than quadrupled their revenue from overseas sales. But more and more, Bayles argued, the content is offensive to foreign audiences — and it misrepresents the United States….