Policy Report

Ties That Bind: Quantifying China's public diplomacy and its "good neighbor" effect

Date Published

Jun 27, 2018

Authors

Samantha Custer, Brooke Russell, Matthew DiLorenzo, Mengfan Cheng, Siddhartha Ghose, Jacob Sims, Jennifer Turner, Harsh Desai

Publisher

Citation

Custer, S., Russell, B. DiLorenzo, M., Cheng, M., Ghose, S., Sims, J., Turner, J., and H. Desai. (2018). Ties That Bind: Quantifying China’s public diplomacy and its "good neighbor" effect. Williamsburg, VA: AidData at William & Mary.

Announcement

In partnership with AidData, CSIS, and ASPI, the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore co-hosted a conference to launch the report on June 26th, 2018. Four panel discussions and a lunch keynote, all featuring experts from around the world, dove deeper into the reach and influence of Chinese public diplomacy and the policy implications for countries across the Asia-Pacific. Visit the event page to watch the conference recordings.

You can also explore an interactive feature showcasing maps and charts from the report.

There is a growing consensus that Beijing has dramatically increased the volume and sophistication of its public diplomacy efforts under President Xi Jinping. Yet there has historically been a lack of quantifiable data to assess the scope and downstream consequences of these activities.

To this end, AidData, in collaboration with the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has assembled new data on Chinese public diplomacy programs in East Asia and the Pacific from 2000 through 2016. This first-of-its-kind report quantifies multiple aspects of China's public diplomacy—financial, cultural, exchange, and elite-to-elite diplomacy—across 25 countries to assess how it is received by foreign publics and leaders and determine whether it is meeting Beijing’s objectives.

In addition to extensive quantitative data, the reports draws from on-the-ground insights from over 70 government officials, civil society and private sector leaders, academics, journalists, and foreign diplomats in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Fiji, and interviews with public diplomacy scholars and practitioners.

This study was conducted with generous support from the United States Department of State and in partnership with the Asia Society Policy Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The report's findings and conclusions are those of its authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of funder and partner organizations.

Samantha Custer
Policy Analysis

Samantha Custer

Director of Policy Analysis

Brooke Russell
Policy Analysis

Brooke Russell

Senior Program and Technology Manager

Matthew DiLorenzo

Matthew DiLorenzo

Research Analyst

Mengfan Cheng
Policy Analysis

Mengfan Cheng

Program Manager

Siddhartha Ghose
Policy Analysis

Siddhartha Ghose

Associate Director, Transparent Development Footprints

Jacob Sims
Policy Analysis

Jacob Sims

Associate Director, Sustainable Development Intelligence

Jennifer Turner
Policy Analysis

Jennifer Turner

Program Manager

Harsh Desai
Policy Analysis

Harsh Desai

Program Manager