China is apparently better thought of around the world today than the United States, according to research quoted in this recent piece in Newsweek on China’s global PR effort. Certainly the country has a lot of incentives to improve its image: it is hosting the upcoming Olympics, for example, which is already drawing lots of increased media scrutiny on the state of human rights and freedom of the press there, and the country also wants to secure new sources of energy for its booming economy, hence its increased business dealings in Africa and Latin America.
In throwing more support to multilateral institutions as the UN, as well boosting foreign aid to Indonesia, the Philippines, and other countries around the world, is China building greater international goodwill and beating the US in the “PR game?" The article suggests yes, but perhaps only for the time being, as greater scrutiny could raise more questions about the government’s policies on such issues as labor conditions and environmental pollution.
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