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A tale of 2 diplomats: China’s Soft Power Conundrum
mediaposted on 2016-06-13, 00:00 authored by Chengxin PanChengxin Pan
In the past couple of weeks, two foreign ministers have captured the Chinese public imagination. In a widely circulated video clip on the popular Chinese social media WeChat, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, Adel Al-Jubeir, is shown rebuking a Western journalist’s question about the “inherent” connection between the Islamic State (ISIS) and Islam. Another story involves Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s response to a Canadian journalist’s questions about China’s human rights. Both foreign ministers faced tricky questions from Western media (though in Wang Yi’s case, the questions were actually directed at his Canadian counterpart, Stéphane Dion), but that’s probably where their similarities end. The focus of Chinese social media is on the stark contrast between the two foreign ministers’ handling of their respective situations.