White Papers: The Importance of Public Communication

Amb. Kishan S. Rana, Honorary Fellow & Tshering Chonzom Bhutia, PhD, Associate Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies

Jabin T Jacob, Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies, recently shared the ‘India Network on China and East Asia’ Google Group (also known as the ICS-Delhi Group) a White paper published on 11 January 2017 by Beijing, entitled ‘China’s Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation’. As some newspaper comments in India have noted, India is ranked in importance at number three, after the US and Russia, but ahead of Japan; the references to India are positive, with no mention of points on which the two countries differ greatly.

China issues white papers from time-to-time on subjects such as family planning, human rights, environment, trade, development, space activities, labor, ecology, non-proliferation, mineral resources, social security, minority policy, gender, intellectual property, democracy, peaceful development, corruption, and so on; it also issues such papers on its declared ‘core issues’ such as Tibet, Taiwan, Xinjiang, and ‘Diaoyu Dao’. All these reflect the views of the country’s authoritarian regime, without any semblance of two-way communication with home publics. Continue reading “White Papers: The Importance of Public Communication”

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Brand Image and Soft Power of India and China

Ambassador (retd.) Kishan S Rana, Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

In the past 25 years new concepts have entered the lexicon of international affairs. In 1990, Joseph Nye gave us the notion of soft power (SP), the ability of a country to attract others, to attain its goals through inducement and gentle persuasion, rather than exertion of hard power.[1] We also learnt to think of countries as brands (CB), possessed of images akin to commercial brands; such attributes had earlier sometimes been seen as national stereotypes. The difference now was that we realized that like all brands, country images could be marketed, enhanced and manipulated. At the same time, public diplomacy (PD) emerged as a new activity, or rather as an old wine in a new bottle, describing effort by governments to reach out to publics, foreign and to an extent also one’s own people, to influence their perceptions on international issues. We realized that image and country marketing affected inflows of foreign tourists, and the way foreign businessmen viewed one’s country as a destination for business and investments. This gave salience to these new forms of public communication.

Continue reading “Brand Image and Soft Power of India and China”