Friday, November 20, 2009

Liebenthal Gets It

Public diplomacy is primarily about exuding prowess or emanating skill or demonstrating compassion. It's about others observing your virtues without you having to trumpet them, and at some point in the future this turns into a usable reputational asset.

And Brookings' Kenneth Liebenthal clearly gets this in his comment to the Times on President Obama's China trip:

“The United States actually has enormous influence on popular thinking in China, but it is primarily by example,” [Liebenthal] said. “If you go to the next step and say, ‘You guys ought to be like us,’ you lose the impact of who you are.”

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