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2021-11-29 06:25:26

Shanghai is seeking suggestions from its foreign residents on how to enhance the city’s soft power.

Several professionals from various fields gathered Friday to discuss ways the country’s financial hub could boost its influence abroad. The participants were part of the “Shanghai Foreign Storytelling Club” hosted by the Information Office of Shanghai Municipality.

“China is a victim of global information devastation,” Malcolm Clarke, an Oscar-winning director, now making documentaries about China, said during the event. “I do think China needs interpretation and needs help in explaining to the world the remarkable things happening here.”

The group had gathered in the ancient water town of Zhujiajiao located in the western suburbs of Shanghai. It is part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, where the annual China International Import Expo is held.

The foreign guests were invited to share their opinions on how Shanghai, an international city that receives most foreign professionals in China, can better help the country to communicate to the outside world.

Clarke believes that art and films are the best forms for building a city’s cultural identity, but the stories should focus on “people who built Shanghai and who preserve the cultural memory of the city” rather than on “the architectural and constructional achievement of Shanghai.”

Besides professionals in cultural areas, a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine from South Korea and a gymnastic teacher from Russia also gave practical suggestions on how better health care and education services can improve foreigners’ impression of the city.

(Header image: People Visual)