smart & soft power

December 14, 2016

Contrary to its designer's expectations, the rolling research tracking the relative strength of national brands, now known as the Anholt/GFK Roper Nation Brands Index, is one of the most boring runs of numbers known to humanity. Unlike the Billboard music chart or the "Who's Hot" list in the celebrity-watch magazines, the nation brands index is astonishingly stable. 

China is eagerly trying to win hearts and minds in politically and economically crucial states, especially those with abundant natural resources. In foreign policy terms, this is a push for what’s widely known as “soft power” – the ability to win other states over to specific goals without the use of force.It is a major priority for Beijing.

Reflecting the common ideals and pursuit of human societies, it is a positive endeavor to seek new models of international cooperation  and will inject positive energy into development. Thus, in line with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, in the context of current world order, OBOR initiative may also be observed as a great undertaking that may benefit people around the world.

Launching in 2017, The South African Brand Summit & Awards will provide a unique platform to begin but probably not finish a series of important conversations about branding [...] The summit will culminate in a gala awards dinner at which brands that make South Africa shine will be celebrated. The summit will also look at how brands that operate in South Africa contribute to the country’s brand narrative.

In an effort to increase China’s culture-focused soft power and to secure an international environment conducive to its development and to generate goodwill abroad alongside its economic rise, Confucius Institutes were established as part of China’s "going out" strategy. [...] What has attracted far less attention but plays the same role is the China Cultural Center under the Chinese Ministry of Culture.

India has appreciable soft power from spiritual philosophies to Bollywood movies to food to yoga to cultural imprints in South East Asia. Not to forget India as the clichéd “world’s largest democracy” [...] Or does it? The 2015 “The Soft Power 30” a global ranking of soft power by ComResGlobal doesn’t seem to think so – India isn’t in the top 30 countries with soft power.

The outcome of the U.S. election has created considerable uncertainty at the country’s future policy directions towards the Asia Pacific. While it is difficult to predict how U.S. economic diplomacy in the region will change [...]. As a general rule, the United States has had more care for the development of the international system of global trade and investment than many other countries. 

Traditional Chinese medicine is readily identified with China by people overseas, an official said yesterday, opening a possible new avenue for the nation to project soft power around the globe. Wang Guoqiang [...] attributed traditional medicine’s high recognition to the authority’s attention to its development and the increasing recognition of its value by the international community.

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