Strengthening American Capacity for Effective Engagement

Issue No. #253 | April 27, 2023

俗语 from Xi Jinping

隔岸观火 gé àn guān huǒ

Definition: to watch the fires burning across the river / to delay entering the fray until all others have been exhausted by fighting amongst themselves (idiom) (MDBG).

Original: 中国不是乌克兰危机的制造者,也不是当事方。作为联合国安理会常任理事国和负责任大国,我们既不会隔岸观火,也不会拱火浇油,更不干趁机牟利的事。中方所作所为光明正大。对话谈判是唯一可行的出路。核战争没有赢家。

Background: On Wednesday April 26th, Xi Jinping had a phone call with President Zelensky. Xi emphasized China's commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Russia-Ukraine war, saying that China "would not watch fires burning from across the river," nor would it "add gas to the fire, let alone take advantage to profit from the situation."

Source: 习近平同乌克兰总统泽连斯基通电话

Weekly Reading: A Turning Point in Establishing A Theory for Guiding International Public Opinion

This week's reading is a piece by He Guoping, Vice Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.

He lays out the importance of China developing a mechanism for guiding international public opinion on social media based on "emotional communication" (情绪传播). He describes this as a way for China to defend itself and its international reputation against Western-dominated public opinion and smear campaigns, particularly in the midst of "dangers arising from the online information disorder spawned by unexpected events."

While this piece is not especially long, if you are short on time we recommend skipping to the second half of the article, starting with the sentence: "具体而言,我们做好国际传播,可以重点关注三方面的因素。"

(Image created with OpenAI's DALL-E)


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