Yiwei Wang’s “Domestic Constraints on the Rise of Chinese Public Diplomacy” includes a helpful overview of China’s public diplomacy, however, I found the word constraint to be a little light handed. Constraint implies that the growth and success of Chinese pd is impeded by certain factors. I would posit that such constraints are more aptly named “challenges” in a sense that Chinese pd is fundamentally challenged by its approach, and will ultimately fail to subsist in spite of domestic handicaps, needing an overall strategic change.
“This ineffectiveness can partly be explained by the fact that China’s public diplomacy which is predominantly a means of government information, lags behind its emerging economic development and the current times.”
China has joined the nation-state community, but as suggested above, extensive trade does not fulfill the suite of norms expected by the global community. Only flexing their economic muscle, the growth and size of their economy has made the globe wary of China, and thus left China with a perception problem not solved with more trade. Their central approach to pd continues to weaken civil society, and Confucius Institutes cannot substitute the interactions missed from the lack of global political culture. The harder China tries to appear non centralized, or rather divert attention by emphasizing culture and history, the more apparent the lack of political discourse will be.