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Understanding the Drivers of Chinese Public Diplomacy in the Information Environment

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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As a rising state, China has embraced, adapted, and increased the use of public diplomacy to influence foreign audiences in support of its strategic objectives. Chinas public diplomacy program is the cornerstone of its effort to re-brand the countrys image as a responsible international power and as an attractive economic partner. The quantitative analysis of this thesis explores which types of events tend to drive Chinas public diplomacy volume and whether China uses public diplomacy to shape the online global discussion prior to or after domestic and foreign events. Using data derived from website monitoring tools, combined with machine-generated international events data, this analysis demonstrates that it is possible to analyze the relationship between Chinas public diplomacy volume and event data to enable assessment of the drivers of Chinas public diplomacy. In addition to the statistical results, this project also seeks to provide useful lessons for how the U.S. Department of Defense can take advantage of Internet monitoring tools to better understand the information environment.

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  • Government and Political Science

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