The Two Phases and Constructed Objectives of Public Diplomacy in the People’s Republic of China – A Historical Review
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Sichuan University
Publication date: 2020-06-17
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2018;54(2):163–183
In the study of general public diplomacy, China can be regarded as a special example with regard to all case studies. E. Gilboa defines a ‘framework of analysis’ in which public diplomacy is broken down into three parts: a short initial period, a medium period, and a long period. The article will focus on the latter period of the framework of analysis, represented by the two periods since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.For this academic inquiry, M. Leonard’s instruments for public diplomacy, from domains such as those of NGOs and political parties, were analysed. In addition to these tools, external propaganda was also researched. The period from 1949 to 1978 was the first phase of the public diplomacy of the PRC. At the beginning of the founding of New China, the official diplomatic space was relatively narrow because there were few countries that had established diplomatic relations with China. Public diplomacy could have played a larger role. The article analyses mostly the diplomatic environment and the modes of practice for the main actors within Chinese public diplomacy. It also takes China’s diplomatic relations with Japan as a case study of success. It examines all public diplomacy practices from 1979 until the present time. China faces the task of interpreting itself through public diplomacy and shaping its image for the rest of the world. This article also pays close attention to China’s public initiatives, offered to the outside world through the One Belt One Road initiative. The author analyses the construction process of the objectives of public diplomacy and reveals its intrinsic direction, from idealism to realism, and eventually back to idealism. The article also examines the relationship between public diplomacy and China’s traditional official diplomacy.