Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop should join Weibo


Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop “privately blamed the Australian media’s ‘negative reports’ for adversely affecting Australia–China relations during her meeting with her Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 in Argentina this week,” according to Fergus Ryan, writing for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

  • Ryan argues that instead of scapegoating journalists for the two countries’ deteriorating ties, Bishop should start communicating with Chinese people directly on Weibo.
  • Australian diplomats should be given “sufficient resources and leeway to be more on the front foot with their digital diplomacy efforts in China on platforms like Weibo and WeChat,” says Ryan, because “public diplomacy is vital, and doubly so when bilateral relations occasionally sour.”