This episode explores the latest public diplomacy efforts that Beijing has carried out in the East Asia and Pacific region to boost favorable views toward China. Through the lens of AidData’s ground-breaking report, Ties That Bind: Quantifying China’s public diplomacy and its “good neighbor” effect, our guest Samantha Custer analyzes the methods, objectives, and successes of China’s regional public diplomacy and political influence activities. Custer also delves into the implications of China’s state-sponsored strategies for the greater region and the field of public diplomacy.
Samantha Custer is the Director of Policy Analysis at AidData, a research lab at the College of William and Mary that produced the Ties That Bind report, in partnership with the CSIS China Power Project and Asia Society Policy Institute. She previously co-authored World Bank papers on open data and citizen feedback with the Open Development Technology Alliance and assisted former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright teach a foreign policy course. Additionally, Ms. Custer has advised multilingual education policy with SIL International and coordinated the advocacy efforts of the Asia Multilingual Education Working Group for UNESCO.