history & theory

Last week President Xi Jinping received President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The meeting, in which the two leaders reaffirmed the importance of bi-lateral cooperation, reflected the profound friendship between China and Africa. [...] China is one of Africa’s main commercial partners. 

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, museum directors across the nation had a decision to make: Should they continue to exhibit the Japanese Friendship Dolls given to the United States by the children of Japan 14 years earlier? It is thought that only one, Harry Davis of the N.C. State Museum, chose to leave the elegantly dressed, handmade wooden doll at his museum on display.

First Amendment, propaganda will automatically enter the media equation. We need to combat it the way we combat all bad ideas: with our vigilance and wit, knowing that we can’t ever completely expunge it from the atmosphere. [...] By our best non-hysterical efforts, refuting propaganda with the diligence we fight cockroaches, we can hope to reduce propaganda’s effect to that of background radiation. The truth loses battles but never the war.

Actually, the thought of integration came from President Ho Chi Minh. In December 1946, he sent a letter sent to the United Nations, written in French, with the following content: Vietnam is ready to open its doors for foreign businesses and experts to do business in Vietnam, and allow other countries to use Vietnam’s roads, ports and airports for transit. 

History shows that cities have tended to embrace international opportunities in waves and cycles. They rarely break out into global activity by themselves. Cities participate in collective movements or networks to take advantage of new conditions, and often their demise or withdrawal from a global orientation is also experienced jointly with other cities as circumstances change, affecting many at once.

In the context of this fraught historical moment, Tehran’s new exhibition is being promoted as a bracing act of cultural diplomacy. The exhibition is a collaboration between the government-owned TMoCA, the commercial Mohsen Gallery, and the Emirati Barjeel Art Foundation. It encompasses work from a variety of Arab countries 

The term "soft power" has been thrown around the media and academic circles for the last couple of years, but its currency has heightened in regards to Australia's relationship with China. All countries practise some form of soft power — the ability to coax and persuade other countries that their culture and values are desirable.

On the cusp of a war in which millions lost their lives, borders shifted and modern warfare was revolutionized, Winston Churchill made an observation of Russia: “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.” For decades, Russia has fascinated historians, politicians and the public alike.

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