Responsible China: A critical discourse analysis of soft power projection through transnational media

Electronic versions


  • Xin Zhao


This research attempts to fulfil three major research objectives situated in the context of China’s media going-global project from 2009: firstly, clarifying China’s political articulation of China-related economic responsibilities; secondly, uncovering China’s media representation of the same issue; thirdly, examining Western countries’ media representation of the same issue and detecting the potential influence of China’s media discourse on Western journalistic representations. They are generated from the following considerations. In studies of China’s responsible power claim, scholars in international politics and relations tried to gauge China’s behaviours with certain standards. Only a limited number of studies explored the political ideas behind China’s behaviours. Moreover, seldom research in the discipline of media probed into the mediation of China-related economic responsibilities through aspects of media texts, construction, and impact. This research aims to bridge these gaps. The inquiries of political articulation and media representation need to be contextually explored. Therefore, this study mainly applies Norman Fairclough’s (1995) framework for critical discourse analysis, which is complemented with a political economic perspective in examining the immediate situational and institutional environment surrounding relevant Chinese and Western media. The policies were retrieved from China’s central government online portal. The media analysis focuses on media texts and practitioners in China’s Xinhua News Agency, USA’s The Wall Street Journal, and UK’s Financial Times. The research findings show that China’s political articulation of China-related economic responsibilities was consistent with China’s sociocultural understandings of responsibility. China’s media representation was congruent with China’s political discourse and its media practitioners confirmed the constraining influence of the Chinese government on external communication. Nevertheless, China’s media discourse yielded trivial influence on Western media representations. This study makes breakthrough in exploring the path of the message of China-related economic responsibilities from aspects of its construction and impact. It also has implications for future external communication.


Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Sefydliad dyfarnu
Goruchwylydd / Goruchwylwyr / Cynghorydd
Noddwyr traethodau hir
  • Chinese Scholarship Council
  • Bangor University
Dyddiad dyfarnuIon 2017