Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2017

Panda Diplomacy

China has used its pandas to help foster relationships with other countries for more than half a century. This unique way of diplomacy has been practiced by Chinese rulers since the Tang dynasty. The Chinese view the Pandas as a national treasure. Chinese policy makers employed a soft power strategy to improve its relations with countries all over the world by gifting Pandas. These Pandas were gifted to countries like the United States, United Kingdom and the Soviet Union to ease tensions and to build new diplomatic relationships. Yet this all changed when the Panda’s became an endangered species. Now pandas are only loaned to friendly, geopolitically and economically important partner countries of China. From the late 50’s to the early 80’s, China has gifted 28 pandas to nine countries. The First Panda Diplomats Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing were gifted to the United States in 1972. This was a generous gift of friendship offered to the United States by the Chinese government after

The South China Sea

Some say it is the most important area of ocean in the world, the South China Sea is rich in natural resources and 30% of the world’s shipping trade flows through this area. The rising super power, People’s Republic of China claim to South China Sea has been a highly debated issue in international affairs. There are rich oil and gas resources in the South China Sea. It is also called “the second Persian Gulf” by experts. An astonishing amounts of oil reserves are buried in the South China Sea. It is estimated that around 7.7 billion barrels of crude oil and natural gas reserves of around 266 trillion cubic feet are up for grabs. A report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration in 2013 raised the total estimated oil reserves to 11 billion barrels. Five countries lay claim to parts of South China Sea and most of these countries base their claims on the United Nations: Law of the Sea Art.57 Breadth of exclusive economic zone; “The exclusive economic zone shall not ext

The Artistic Elegance in Diplomacy

“Without music, life would be a mistake” These were the words spoken by German philosopher and poet; Friedrich Nietzsche. After the end of World War two, Composer and Conductor Igor Markevitch created the the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra as a symbol of hope. In 1950 the U.S State Department promoted jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong to create cross cultural understanding in the middle of a cold war between the Americans and Russians. In 1958 despite his enemy status by the Russians American Pianist Van Cliburn won the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow and became and adorned figure in Russia. And in 1964 renowed cellist Mstislav Rostropovich played the notes Bach’s Suite No 2 of the praising God for the “miracle” in remembrance of the fall of the Berlin Wall which occurred in 1989. The Ninth Symphony by Beethoven which hailed to be the National Anthem of the European Union had a statement to be made which avowed freedom for the de

Diplomacy and World Affairs; An essential set of skills to craft your future.

The world is changing faster than at any time in human history. The trajectory of globalization has suddenly taken a different turn with protectionism emerges over inclusion. The world is facing the greatest humanitarian crisis with one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. We are going through a rapid lifestyle change. As a consequence, for the first time in two centuries, the current generation of children in some parts of the world is likely to have shorter life expectancies than their parents. Despite the advancements in science and technology, infectious diseases such as AIDS together with emerging resistance to antibiotics pose a significant public health threat with a potential of wiping out the entire younger generation of some countries in the African continent. Enduring wealth gap is one of the biggest threats to inclusive growth and development of the world. The gap between rich and poor is reaching new extremes and it is re