Headlines explore government campaigns to increase their countries' soft power.
Generations of Indian diplomats have been using mango for years to win both friends and foes. [...] Foreigners didn’t know how to tackle the fruit, a fact happily taken advantage of by one Indian diplomat living in Geneva. He once met Dag Hammarskjold, the UN secretary-general, who told him he kept getting mangoes from Indians which he didn’t know how to eat. [...] It was reported in 1955 that as Chou ate his mango “his beetling brow relaxed, his lips rippled into a smile… Thereafter, he ate out of Mr. Nehru’s hand and signed the famous joint declaration.”
Technology allows governments and citizens to communicate faster and more effectively. In the age of “digital diplomacy”, the ability to harness digital platforms effectively to engage people, exchange ideas and deliver key messages is more important than ever. Prime Minister Narendra Modi provides a great example of digital diplomacy done well by a head of a state. His use of digital tools has been central to his success both as a politician and India’s global advocate-in-chief.
China has scored a major victory in soft diplomacy by quietly launching its own Nalanda University, while the original Nalanda campus in Bihar, planned almost a decade ago, is still stuck with 455-acre dead space. China’s education ministry had managed to keep the plan a secret till a few weeks ago when it formally announced the enrolment for the Nanhai Buddhist College in Hainan province in May.
Besides putting his mark in the heart of Europe, Modi is understood to have also brought back momentum to India-Russia relationship amid growing concerns over Moscow's newfound closeness to China and Pakistan. In his typical style, he was able to connect with Germany's Merkel, Russia's Putin and France's Macron as well. Ahead of the restrictive meetings, he told Merkel that India and Germany are made for each other.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit Saturday said the dialogue between Pakistan and India was the only way to move forward for resolution of long-standing issues as there was always a room for diplomacy. In an interview with an Indian TV Channel WION (World is on news), the high commissioner said as serious issues were involved between the two countries, so how they could be resolved without talking to each other.
The biggest box office stars don’t always hail from the US, they come from other places, too. Beyoncé, the internationally famous and quite possibly most talked-about woman in the world, has about 14.7 million Twitter followers. She’s ranked at, roughly, the 119th most popular person on Twitter. Shakira, the Colombian-born pop star, has a whopping 45.2 million Twitter followers. She’s about 18th on the Twitter popularity scale. [...] This is not to say that American movie stars are not popular, it's just that the Hollywood's near monopoly for almost a century is lo longer in effect.