Event Details

Join RASBJ for an online talk with Danny Whitehead, Acting Country Director of the British Council in China, and Minister Counsellor for Culture and Education at the British Embassy, moderated by Alan Babington-Smith.

WHAT: "Soft Power: The role of cultural engagement as China re-opens to the outside world", featuring Danny Whitehead in conversation with moderator Alan Babington-Smith, an RASBJ online event.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 4, 2023, from 7:00-8:15 PM Beijing time.

MORE ABOUT THE EVENT: As we move into 2023, China is re-opening to the outside world after three years of pandemic-related isolation. In the coming year, the world faces significant challenges โ€“ from conflict in Europe to economic worries to the ever-quickening climate emergency. British diplomat Danny Whitehead explains how cultural relations are among the most powerful tools available for addressing these challenges -- and that international connections through the arts, culture, heritage, education, and languages create the trust and understanding necessary for the global good. Illustrating the talk with examples from his own career in Asia and Africa and the British Council's current work in China, from dirt-biking to Angkorian temples in the Cambodian jungle to the power of footbal in rural Chinese communities, Danny explores the differences between public diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, and cultural relations -- and how they relate to soft power -- as well as the differing approaches of the UK and China.

HOW MUCH: This online event is free for members of RASBJ; RMB50 for members of partner RAS branches; RMB 100 for non-members. Interested in becoming an RASBJ member? Please sign up at https://rasbj.org/membership/

HOW TO JOIN THE EVENT: Please click "Register" or "I Will Attend" and follow the instructions. After successful registration you'll receive a confirmation email with a link to join the event. If you seem not to have received it, please check your spam folder. Members of partner RAS branches: Please register at least 48 hours in advance to allow time for membership verification. You will receive two emails from us, the first confirming receipt of your registration request and the second confirming your registration, with a link to join the event. Please check your spam folder to ensure you see all RASBJ emails. If you have difficulty paying by Wechat, you may wish to try Alipay or an international credit card (please pay the amount denominated in RMB).


  • Danny Whitehead (Speaker at British Council)

    Danny Whitehead

    Speaker at British Council

    Danny Whitehead is the British Council’s Acting Country Director in China, and Minister Counsellor for Culture and Education at the British Embassy. He has worked in international cultural relations and cultural diplomacy for over 20 years. He's been based in Cambodia, D.R. Congo, and Indonesia, and during the last ten years has been the British Council’s Country Director, Iran (based in London); Country Director, Vietnam; and Deputy and now Acting Country Director, China. His academic interests and publications centre around soft power and hegemony, culture in developing and fragile states, and sociolinguistics. Danny is also a playwright and screenwriter, and lives in Beijing with his family.

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  • Alan Babington-Smith (Moderator at RASBJ ็…Œ้›…ๆ–‡ๅŒ–)

    Alan Babington-Smith

    Moderator at RASBJ ็…Œ้›…ๆ–‡ๅŒ–


    Alan Babington-Smith is the founding President of RASBJ

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