China's Charm Offensive
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Very little is known about China's new President, Xi Jinping, installed formally yesterday to run the world's second most powerful country for the next ten years. We do know that Xi Jinping wants the world to know more about China. Why is it such a mystery? What are the obstacles to spreading China's cultural influence along with its economic and military power? Also, President Obama talks about Iran's nuclear capability as he prepares for his Middle East trip. On Reporter's Notebook, will he crowd-funding website Kickstarter change the way Hollywood produces films?
Banner image: China's new Politburo Standing Committee members, including Xi Jinping (4th L) meet with the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 15, 2012. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters
Obama Talks Iran Nuclear Capability, Prepares for Mid-East Trip ()
Less than a week before his first visit to Israel as President of the US, Barack Obama told an Israeli TV station yesterday that Iran is not all that close to building a nuclear weapon. David Sanger is chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times.
Is China's New 'Charm Offensive' Doomed to Fail? ()
For the second time in 20 years, the leaders of China have just completed a peaceful transition of power. Xi Jinping has become the Communist Party Chairman, Commander in Chief of the Army and—yesterday--President of the Country. All that took place, as usual, behind closed doors. Xi will be running an economic powerhouse with an inferiority complex about its lack of cultural influence. He says, "Just as China needs to learn more about the world, so does the world need to learn more about China." But, can he develop China's "soft-power" in the face of political censorship, limits on foreign tourism and military saber rattling? We hear about the contradictions that make the world's second most powerful nation harder to understand — and more frightening — than it wants to be.
- Adam Minter: Bloomberg World View, @AdamMinter
- James Fallows: The Atlantic, @JamesFallows
- Orville Schell: Asia Society, @orvilleschell
- Gordon Chang: Forbes, @GordonGChang
Will Fan-funded 'Veronica Mars' Movie Change Hollywood ()
Producers of the cult-favorite TV series Veronica Mars used the website Kickstarter to raise money to make a new movie. They thought it would take until April 13 to raise $2 million. It took just 10 hours. The campaign was the most successful in Kickstarter's history and Warner Brothers had agreed to help distribute the film if the $2 million in could be raised. Robert Lloyd is a TV critic for the Los Angeles Times.
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