Friday, 14 January 2011

The Charm Offensive

Can Lang Lang sway Americans about how great China is?

There's big expectations when Chinese President Hu Jintao comes to the United States next week.

There's going to be talk about North Korea, the value of the renminbi and the US dollar, more trade and... perhaps global warming? We can only hope.

This past week Defense Secretary Robert Gates was in Beijing and there was much talk about Hu who seemed unaware of the successful test flight of a Chinese stealth fighter.

China hands are debating back and forth about how Hu might be out of step with what the Chinese military are doing despite being the commander of the military. However many seem to think Hu did know about the tests but may have had the latest update. Some think the test was a show of strength by the Chinese in the run-up to Hu's visit next week.

Other than showing off its hardware, China is also doing some celebrity diplomacy as well. The government has completed two advertisements featuring Chinese celebrities that will be aired in the US, not only on TV but also on the giant screen in New York's Times Square.

The commercials, lasting 30 seconds and one minute, will feature stars like basketball forward Yao Ming, pianist Lang Lang, diving Olympian Guo Jingjing, as well as Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing and director John Woo.

It'll be interesting to see what these ads look like and what messages these celebs will be sending to Americans.

But perhaps China should really look how it presents itself from home -- the illegal land confiscations, incarcerating people like Liu Xiabo, the rich getting astronomically richer than the poor, corruption, illegally beating people up and incarcerating them without charge...

If China followed its rule of law that's laid out in black and white, perhaps it wouldn't need to do this so-called charm offensive?

1 comment:

  1. if you have a flower the fragrant will come out by itself, no need to spread it. why spend money to show others you are great just do something great.