There used to be a saying about the Chinese: “They work while we sleep.” In the field of public diplomacy, it is absolutely spot on.
The Chinese have taken to public diplomacy and information warfare with a vengeance, using every tool of state and military craft to advance their ideology and cause. This is happening while the U.S. State Department is focused on turning public diplomacy into a dialogue with the world (so as not to seem too bossy, presumably) and while regular Voice of America broadcasting to China is under threat of being cut.
Thankfully, the House Foreign Affairs Committee is determined to expose the Chinese public diplomacy offensive. Hearings on “Public Diplomacy with China” will be held by the Foreign Affairs Committee at 2:30 pm Wednesday.
The committee has a lot to cover. From Confucius Institutes to Xinhua’s 24-hour news networks in various languages—as well as blockbuster events like the Shanghai Expo—China is projecting itself on the world stage with the kind of assurance the United States used to display. Let us stop sleeping and wake up to the challenge.