Jinan is a city that bridges the gap between East and West.
In 1904, the millennium-old city of Jinan initiated its commercial port, becoming the first inland major city in modern Chinese history to do so. In 1983, Jinan established its first international friendship city. Over the past 40 years, sister cities of Jinan have expanded to cover five continents. In 2022, the Jinan International Communication Center was formally established, marking the beginning of a global communication journey for the open and inclusive "City of Springs."
Present-day Jinan not only sees a constant rise in its urban infrastructure but also a strengthening of its soft power in international communication. It's about narrating compelling stories about Jinan to the world and broadcasting the authentic voice of Jinan, letting this 'Spring City' embrace an international flair.
Jinan has consistently emphasized the enhancement of its internationalization and the projection of its city image through international communication. The city established its first regional international communication center in Shandong - the Jinan International Communication Center. This center isn't just a vital component in building an overall pattern of external communication for the city; it is a crucial measure in bolstering soft power. Leveraging Jinan's profound historical and cultural heritage, the Jinan International Communication Center innovates external propaganda content, establishing a bridge for Jinan to communicate with the world.
In the bustling "City of Springs," the Jinan International Communication Center has created over 420 themed promotional videos, such as "The Spring World," "Foreign Hosts Explore Jinan," "AI Broadcast - Sag Talks about Jinan," "Roaming and Reading Jinan, Shandong," and "Videos of Jinan, Shandong," building a promotional network that covers overseas audiences. This involves collaborating with over a thousand overseas media outlets and utilizing international communication channels like overseas media and social platforms. Outdoor screens for international communication, such as a Reuters screen in Times Square, New York, and a large screen in Leicester Square, UK, are also used to constantly enhance Jinan's visibility and reputation overseas.
Simultaneously, Jinan persists in maintaining high-quality content, innovating formats, strengthening platforms, and expanding channels. Leveraging the Jinan International Communication Center, the " A Glimpse of Chinese Culture - Nishan Library" has been established in sister cities overseas. International singing competitions, international dance contests, and promotion and exchange activities for Jinan's intangible cultural heritage tourism are continuously held abroad. Through cultural exchange interviews and exhibitions of Jinan's intangible cultural heritage, Jinan is introduced to overseas audiences.
Each of these "platforms" serves as a window for the world to understand Jinan. These platforms are increasingly becoming vital channels for both domestic and international individuals to know, understand, and immerse themselves in Jinan. They have played an active role in narrating Jinan's stories, spreading Jinan's voice, and promoting positive energy, allowing a large influx of people to explore Jinan.
Rooted in Jinan's local cultural advantages, the Jinan International Communication Center constructs a city brand image and disseminates "Spring City culture," conveying the "voice of a great nation," promoting Chinese culture globally, and telling Jinan's unique stories to the world from a broader perspective.
Over a century ago, Jinan became the first inland city in China to open a port voluntarily. Today, Jinan continues with its open "DNA," embracing the world on the international stage with an even more open mind.
Based on an understanding of the spirit of open cooperation in international communication, the Jinan International Communication Center established the Quanying Global Communication Alliance. The alliance members work together to expand international communication channels, enhance the capacity for international communication, promote Chinese culture and stories globally, create an attractive window for international communication and exchanges, and construct a community for the development of global communication.
To expedite the construction of a Chinese discourse and narrative system and improve the quality of telling China's stories, the Jinan International Communication Center launched the "Blooming Jinan" series of international communication brand activities. "Blooming Jinan" effectively utilizes Jinan's city brand, city culture, and city characteristics, telling the unique story of Jinan's competition as a "spring-lake-river city" through activities like the "Blooming Jinan" international communication theme salon, "Spring City Photo Tour," "Z-generation Yellow River Culture Trip," "Luoyuan Forum - A Dialogue by the Daming Lakeside: Jinan from the Perspective of Jinan City Referrers, at Home and Abroad (Season Two)," and the "Foreign Hosts Explore Jinan" series of visits.
As the spokesperson for Jinan's city image, the "Jinan City Referrers," utilizing their respective strengths in their fields, introduce Jinan's opportunities, publicize Jinan's advantages, and disseminate Jinan's prospects. Now, over a hundred "Spring City Referrers" are in position. They shoulder the heavy responsibility of promoting Jinan's historical culture, civilized temperament, and urban image, dedicating themselves to building Jinan's urban IP and brand image, and continuously enhancing the city's visibility, reputation, and influence.
Using springs as a medium, history as a pulse, and development as a guide, Jinan is continuously enhancing its urban cultural soft power, making the city more charming and more open. For Jinan, a thousand-year-old city, effective international communication is not only about seeking attention from home and abroad but also about a more profound integration need. It is a necessary step in promoting the high-quality development of Jinan.
（Yuan Yuhua; Li Xiaotong; Hua Shan; Hou Yawen; Liang Ruixin; Chong Yaqi; Zhang Mengjie; Xu Lei; Bao Zhongxin; Aliya Dilbar)