Academics from Peking University visit USC Annenberg to explore potential partnerships
Posted March 16, 2011
Dean Ernest J. Wilson III and the USC Annenberg School hosted a delegation from China's Peking University to explore potential partnerships between the two schools.
Professors and administrators at both USC Annenberg and Peking University's School of International Studies began to sketch out joint activities that might include conferences, joint publications and faculty exchanges.
"The purpose of this partnership is to improve relationships between the People's Republic of China and the United States," Dean Wilson said. "That's what we want to keep an eye on as we move forward. It will require a lot of listening and sharing of ideas."
He said this effort will increase cultural awareness and mutual appreciation between the two countries, while reducing the potential for conflict.
"We are at an important moment in the history between China and the United States," Dean Wilson said. "We are in periods of transition, and we both would like good things to come out of the changes that will occur. We can explore our differences and similarities to find common space of what public diplomacy can do to expand our relationship."
As part of the week's events, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School hosted a symposium on the theory and practice of public diplomacy, which featured experts from China and the United States. Speakers included USC faculty members Philip Seib, Mai’a Cross, Nicholas J. Cull, Pamela Starr, and Jian (Jay) Wang. USC's Melanie Ciolek, Mark Preston and Silva Sevlian discussed their experiences as Master's of Public Diplomacy students.
This meeting and initial activities of the partnership are funded by generous gifts from The Wellen Sham Family Foundation, the Chong Family, and Christopher Cheng.
Representatives from Peking University compared and contrasted China's views of both public diplomacy, propaganda and international relations. Speakers from Peking University's School of International Studies included Associate Dean Guan Guihai, Associate Professor and Associate Dean Fan Shiming, Professor Zhang Zingmin, Associate Professor Gui Yongtao, Associate Professor Yu Wanli and Associate Professor Wang Dong.
Zhang Zingmin discussed how China conceptualizes public diplomacy, the challenges it faces, and how it is similar to and different than public diplomacy in the United States.
"We need a lot of people who understand how to communicate," Zhang Zingmin said. "At Annenberg, you are very strong in public diplomacy, and we have great, immediate demand for public diplomacy expertise. So in this regard I see a very strong future for the two sides to cooperate. As a professor, I would like to see fruitful results from this cooperation and I want to contribute whatever I can to make this successful."
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