Military force being China’s obstacle for its international image


HONG KONG – China’s expanding military force has become its biggest obstacle for  the country to set a favorable international image, said Dr. Bo Zhiyue at a lecture on China’s International Image in a Hong Kong university last Tuesday.

China’s image has been categorized into four groups: the neutral China, the bad China, the good China and the super good China. Of all groups except the super good China, China’s increasing military budget is the last straw that makes those countries upset and felt negative on the country’s image, said Dr. Bo Zhiyue, a senior research member at the East Asian Institute of National University of Singapore.

The neutral China group is mainly formed by Middle East countries such as Jordan,Lebanon, and Egypt. Bad China group consists of some European countries like France,Germany and China’s neighbors,  say South Korea, Japan and India. Good China group includes the US, Britain, Russia, Indonesia and some Latin American countries like Brazil and Argentina. Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria allied the super China group.

To promote China’s image, Dr. Bo suggested three global strategies. First,China should explain its military policy to the world.

“Real image of a country is complicated. It is what you do, not what you say that convinces people,” said Dr Bo.

He said China should relook at its traditional value systems and be more open-minded at universal values.

Dr. Bo also mentioned that China’s international image went through three important stages. The first milestone was in the late 1970’s, when China adopted the open-up policy. Entering the World Trade Organization in 2001 symbolized China’s economic integrate with the world. The latest breakthrough was the 2008 Beijing Olympics , a presentation of the country’s cultural image to the global community.

Students asked  whether it is effective for the country to promote its image by cultivating  national media like Xinhua, CCTV and by releasing commercial advertisement at the Time Square.

“China knows to investigate, but not in a good approach.” Answered Dr. Bo.

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One Response to Military force being China’s obstacle for its international image

  1. China’s military policy isn’t in line with it’s civilian policy. It claims to want a “peaceful rise” but here it is investing billions of dollars in offensive military capabilities like long range missiles and aircraft carriers. It hasn’t offered a convincing explanation to it’s neighbors and now it’s lost just about every ally it had. Even Myanmar and Vietnam are becoming allies of the US. China better square itself away soon or there might be long-term diplomatic consequences.

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