Public diplomacy: sway opinion favorably in other countries by providing a reasoned and persuasive discussion of your country’s position.
Clarify discourse: address errors, distortions, and challenge alternative constructions of facts, laws in order to steer discourse in general in a favorable direction and not allow other countries to control the substance of discourse.
To satisfy provisions of international law having to do with challenging claims to disputed territories or other claims. The absence of such challenges would be interpreted in traditional international law as acceptance of those claims.
Know your audience and make use of the political language, history and norms of English-speaking countries if you are writing to newspapers in such countries, not your own.
Create reasoned arguments—use evidence.
Be succinct, no extra material
No inflammatory language, and use correct, fluent English
No strange arguments
Letter from Russian Embassy to the Guardian:
On 1 December 2012 The Guardian newspaper, widely believed to be centre-left liberal and associated with the Labour party, published two articles, obviously meant to exaggerate the Russian Embassy's ability to pursue the national interest in the bilateral relationship with Great Britain. For that we would only be grateful, but for one thing. That is hounding, in the process, of Russian diplomats, stationed in London and trying to frighten people off the Embassy by dusting off the old bogeyman of KGB and FSB.
As to the KGB and FSB, we'd like to refer the authors to John Le Carre and his Secret Pilgrim in particular, where he explores with lots of authority, the nonsense the secret services on both sides of the Cold War divide had engaged in.
The paper can't help basking in perceived finding the so-called Kremlin's hand in minor difficulties in the Conservative Party. It is assumed that people there do not decide for themselves, but are dupes of the Russian Embassy. It is a fitting reminder that those were the New Labour Governments that allowed our bilateral relationship to deteriorate to the point where it became open to negative impact of all sorts of accidents, including held hostage to private interests of some Russians living in Britain, who have accounts to settle in Russia and with the Russian Government. It has to be noted that the Russian authorities have requested, in due course, extradition of about 40 Russian nationals on criminal charges (fraud, money-laundering etc.).
This situation became a function of our merely becoming at odds over the War in Iraq. Do some people want to repeat that dubious accomplishment taking advantage of our differences over another international issue, this time that of the settlement of the Syrian crisis?
We, indeed, welcome any initiative of the British civil society aimed at building up mutual trust and understanding between our two nations. All the more so, that there is a lot of room for improvement, partly to make up for the time lost since 2003. The Rossotrudnichestvo, a federal agency reporting to the Foreign Minister, has recently established a program modelled on the American Open Society (by the way, our US partners lobbied our Government hard on that count).
We consider such exchanges to be a normal practice, opening up another major channel of people-to-people contacts. They fit in the positive dynamics within the overall context of our relations.
Their current state creates huge opportunities for contribution by British politicians and general public. The official visit to Moscow in September 2011 by Prime Minister David Cameron, contacts held in London by President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during the Olympic Games provide enough grounds to talk about the restoration of full-scale political dialogue between our countries.
On 29 October 2012 First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable co-chaired the 9th session of the Russo-British Intergovernmental Steering Committee for Trade and Investment. Russia is about to lift the ban for import of meat products from the UK (imposed because of epidemics of British cattle in the past).
The interaction in the sphere of establishing an International Financial Center in Moscow is widening. A number of Russian companies are interested in listing at the London Stock Exchange. British imports to Russia increased by 57 % in 2011. Around 600 British companies are successfully doing business in Russia. Both countries are keen to develop cooperation in high-tech areas.
Our mutual agenda comprises not only intense joint action at the UN Security Council and other international fora, but also within the framework of cross presidencies of Great Britain in the G8 and Russia in the G20 in 2013. The large-scale preparatory work is being carried out for the cross seasons of culture in 2014. In the run-up to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014 Russia is interested in British experience in hosting major sports competitions.
We are well aware of the existing bias, instincts and prejudices of some who would like any progress in our relationship to wait for the moment when we see eye to eye on issues of democratic development. Such an approach smacks of self-righteousness. Do we need to say that no country is now in good shape in terms of economy, fiscal situation, state of democracy, quality of political elites and, finally, the media? Russia is also far from perfect, and whatever problems we have we are willing to discuss those with our partners, including the British. That is, in fact, done at all levels. After all, Russia, naturally, is in a momentous transition, sort of goods in process, not finished goods in a state of end of history rot. We don't claim moral high ground, but ask for a reasoned debate.
Since the state of the British media is a topical issue, it would be only fair to say that Britain's international partners have a huge interest in their health, Russia being no exception. We did have those problems with the British mainstream press in the past. For example, it played a critical part in engineering the unnecessary Crimean War, which broke the European order and created an opening for the militaristic Prussia, which lacked political culture of moderation (read Henry Kissinger for that), to grab the whole of Germany. That war started the countdown to WWI and all the tragedies that followed. In fact, it is only now that we are getting out of this historical cycle. This impact is not outweighed by few advantages, such things as the Charge of the Light Brigade, Florence Nightingale's heroic service and the recognition of ordinary soldiers' humanity.
Orlango Figes details that in his Crimean War. He also mentions that the press hounded the then Secretary for War Sidney Herbert out of office partly for his being a grandson of the former Russian Ambassador in London Count Semyon Vorontsov. Fortunately, his good name was restored and his statue makes part of the Crimean War memorial.
So much for the press and its role in Foreign Policy. We hope, the media, the Fourth Estate will exercise its freedom responsibly for the good of Great Britain and its international relationships which are a major source of economic growth and prosperity in our interdependent world. Hopefully, the blame for parts of British media's blatant disregard for common decency won't be put at our Embassy's door.
We challenge The Guardian to publish this comment in full to prove that it is, after all, about reasoned debate and not the search for the weapons of mass distraction, British politics may be in need of.
Letter to the editor:Russian Embassy responds
The Jakarta Post | Opinion | Sat, March 10 2012, 10:46 AM
The Russian Embassy in Jakarta, attentively following the publications in your newspaper, noticed that while covering the election campaign and the presidential elections in the Russian Federation that took place on March 4, 2012, your periodical used exclusively material from Western news agencies, such as Reuters and The Associated Press, which, from our standpoint, gave politically motivated and biased information.
At the same time, your newspaper absolutely ignored the opinion of independent international observers, including the Indonesian delegation headed by General Elections Commission chairman Hafiz Anshary, who noted a good level of organization in the elections and the absence of mass
An article on that subject, prepared by the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow, was distributed by the Indonesian news agency Antara on March 6, 2012.
In this connection, we are quite surprised that your esteemed periodical prefers to rely on Western information sources rather than the assessment of the Indonesian officials, who personally took part in observing the elections in Russia. Such an approach is not likely to assist unbiased analysis of the political processes in Russia in the pages of your newspaper.
Dmitry A Solodov Press attaché
Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Indonesia
Chinese embassy clarifies Japan-China relations
By Zhang Hua, Spokesperson of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Philippines (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 3, 2012 - 12:00am
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I am writing to express our grave concerns about an article with the title of “Japan-China relations at a crossroads” published on The STAR of Nov. 30, 2012, and to make clarifications of the history and facts.
1. The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are China’s inherent territory, of which Japan has no right to engage in any form of “buying” or “selling”.
Ample historical and legal evidences support China’s sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. It was the Chinese people who first discovered and named the Diaoyu Islands. From the Ming Dynasty some 500 years ago to the modern times, China has exercised sovereignty over Diaoyu Islands. Japan grabbed and occupied China’s territory during its aggression to China in 1895 and after the US “reversion of” Okinawa to Japan. China has been underlining that Japan’s so-called “presence” in and “control” of the waters off the Diaoyu Islands are illegal and invalid, which China never accepts from the very beginning till today.
There are clear provisions in international legal documents such as the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands be returned to China along with Taiwan. It was made very clear in these two legal documents that Japan should restore to China all the territories it has stolen from China. Therefore from the legal perspective, Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated Dao, together with Taiwan, should have been returned to China.
In 1971, the United States, through a backroom deal, transferred to Japan the administrative rights over Diaoyu Islands which had been placed under illegal US trusteeship. At that time, the Chinese government issued a solemn statement pointing out that this action was illegal and could not change, not even in the slightest way, the People’s Republic of China’s territorial sovereignty over Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands. In 1972, when China and Japan restored diplomatic relations, the two sides reached understanding and consensus on “putting aside the issue of Diaoyu Islands to be resolved later”.
On September 10, 2012, the Japanese government, in defiance of the firm opposition of China, announced the so-called “purchase” of Diaoyu Islands. This move grossly infringed upon China’s territorial sovereignty, seriously tramples on historical facts and international jurisprudence and caused the most severe disruption to China-Japan relations since the normalization of relations 40 years ago.
With regard to China’s “challenge to the status quo” alleged by this article, I would like to stress that it is Japan that occupied China’s Diaoyu Islands by aggression, China never recognizes or accepts Japan’s illegal occupation and so-called “actual control” of the Diaoyu Islands if that is what the Japanese side means by “status quo”.
2. It is untenable in jurisprudence for Japan to claim sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands based on the so-called “Treaty of San Francisco”.
The Treaty of San Francisco will not help Japan. Firstly, it is widely known that this treaty was signed amid the Cold War between Japan and the Western allies of World War II. It excluded the Soviet Union and China, which had contributed greatly to victory in the war. Since China was not a signatory to the treaty, it is not legally binding to China and can in no way serve as the legal basis for China and Japan to settle the post-war ownership of relevant territories.
Secondly, even according to the Treaty of San Francisco, we can hardly draw the conclusion that the Diaoyu Islands belong to Japan. Article 2 of the treaty states that “Japan renounces all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores.” Here Formosa definitely included the Diaoyu Islands.
Thirdly, even the United States, the initiator of the treaty, admits the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands. In 1971 when the US “returned” the “administrative power” of the Dao to Japan, it publicly announced that it took no side in the territorial dispute over the islands between China and Japan.
The Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Proclamation formed the legal basis between Allied Powers and Japan to end the status of war and build the post-war international order in the Asia Pacific as well as for China and Japan to settle post-war ownership of relevant territories, with which many parts of the Treaty of San Francisco did not accord.
Japan’s repeated provocative actions on the Diaoyu Islands issue are essentially an attempt to deny the effects of the Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Proclamation and a challenge to the post-war international order. We have shared historic memories and pains. It is the common responsibility of the entire international community to reaffirm the outcomes of the war against fascism and maintain the post-war international order.
3. The development of right-wing forces in Japan gives Asian countries and peoples cause for concern.
The big picture is that the right-wing forces in Japan instigated the farce of the “island purchase”. It is a demonstration of the increasing tilt to the right in Japanese politics. We may take a look at what has been said and done in Japan in recent years: denial of the Nanjing Massacre, denial of the so-called “comfort women”, the visits by Japanese leaders to the Yasukuni War Shrine, advocacy of military buildup and preparation for war and abandonment of Japan’s pacifist constitution. It deserves attention of countries across Asia and the entire international community, not just China to watch how Japan reacts to these dangerous political trends.
It must be emphasized that the root cause for the current situation is Japan’s failure to think hard about and repent the history of its militarist aggression. Taking history as a mirror and looking into the future will continue to be the political prerequisite for ensuring stable and healthy development of Sino-Japan relations.
Muddying the Waters
The Dalai Lama refused to call self-immolations wrong in an interview published by The Hindu on July 9. Then readers may ask him what compassion really means to him. His prayers for those self-immolators amount to encouragement of the violent deed.
As to autonomy, the Dalai Lama's views totally contradict the Chinese Constitution. Regional ethnic autonomy and the people's congress system are the norms for ethnic minorities to exercise autonomy. He advocates the "Greater Tibet" which is a legacy of the British imperialists to split China. It's against the Constitution too. No Tibetan living in Tibet Autonomous Region and autonomous prefectures buys his argument. With an ulterior motive, the Dalai Lama has been muddying the waters with regard to reincarnation. His disguised "Tibet independence" drive is doomed to failure.
First Secretary, Press Section,
Embassy of P.R. China in India,
Letter to the editor: The Embassy of the Republic of Cuba clarifies
The Jakarta Post | Opinion | Wed, November 28 2012, 10:51 AM
In reference to the article “Cuba’s economy moves bring calls for new look at embargo”, published on Nov. 21 in the business section of The Jakarta Post, which reproduces some references from Reuters Press Agency regarding the issue, we consider there are some unbalanced considerations in the article.
The above mentioned Reuters report talks about the recent case of Alan Gross as one of the obstacles to normalizing of bilateral ties between Cuba and the US, but curiously omits mentioning that the protracted criminal US blockade which has existed for more than 50 years is the real obstacle to fair and just relations according to international law. The blockade against Cuba is classified as genocide and criminal act according to the Charter of the United Nations.
Regarding the case of Mr. Alan Gross, it makes sense to clarify that Mr. Gross violated Cuban law. Implementing a program of US government sponsored attacks on the Cuban constitution and the covert activities performed by Gross in Cuba are crimes in many countries, including the US.
As you are aware, the international community voted overwhelmingly in favor of ending the economic, financial and commercial blockade by the US against Cuba, 21 consecutive times.
As you may agree, 188 countries out of 193 in United Nations cannot be wrong to condemn an obsessed and absurd position of the Cold War era.
Enna Viant Valdes
Embassy of Cuba
One of the major foreign policy challenges of the second Obama administration is the rising risk of a clash between China and Japan, the consequences of which could be calamitous. China and Japan have had well-known disputes and clashes in the past. The most pressing issue between them currently concerns the disputed islets in the East China Sea, which Japan controls and calls the Senkakus but which China and Taiwan lay claim to and call the Diaoyutais.
In the waters and skies around the disputed islands, China is escalating actions designed to challenge decades of Japanese control. As Beijing pursues a policy of maritime expansion, it is accompanying its campaign with increasingly blood-curdling rhetoric, making a military clash now more likely. China and Japan are sliding toward a war that would imperil not just China and Japan, but the region’s peace and its momentous economic advances.
The world, including the United States, has a duty to warn China and Japan before it is too late, though warnings will doubtless be interpreted as conspiracies. Who in the world will speak out against this unfolding madness? The United States, China and Japan should pay serious attention to Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s call for talks among the parties concerned with the disputed islands. Mr. Ma’s initiative calls for all parties to refrain from provocation, shelve their differences, maintain dialogue, observe international law and resolve the dispute by peaceful means. The president’s initiative is the best way to address the sovereignty issue, and is aligned with the United States’ stance.
KENT WANG Advisory commissioner, Overseas Chinese Affairs Council
The article Dangerous Moves In The East China Sea (Dec. 3) states that, “The islands were Chinese until 1895, when they were surrendered to Japan … under the Treaty of Shimonoseki …”
Japan acquired the Senkaku Islands peacefully and lawfully, based on the principle of terra nullius, an established method of acquiring uninhabited islands under international law. Having confirmed that the islands had no trace of having been under the control of any other sovereign nation (through surveys of the islands which began in 1885), Japan incorporated them into its territory in January, 1895, before the settlement of the Sino-Japanese War by the Treaty of Shimonoseki in April, 1895.
Even though the acquisition of the islands and the settlement of the war took place in the same year, we should not blur the clear distinction between the two incidents.