This book examines China’s identity transformations with a focus on self-perceptions and their representations and communication in the mass media. By considering the internal dynamics of change, it explores the emerging multifaceted ‘China brand’.
With its growing economic clout, China has taken a proactive stance in shaping global economic and strategic order through ambitious programmes such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. However, as a developing country, China is at pains to manage its own transformations while trying to carve out an international identity. Arguably, China’s unique sense of history and identities may lead to a ‘contested modernity’ or ‘multiple modernities’; radically different from the prevalent classical theories of modernisation and convergence of industrial societies. To understand China’s trajectory of future development has been a major issue in international affairs. This book is concerned with how China’s hybridised identities are articulated, and intertwined with situational, institutional, and societal dynamics – and how they are interwoven with China’s international outlook which converges with or diverges from China’s historical assumptions and beliefs.
This book will be of interest to those studying China’s identity in the media; situated at the juncture of past, present, and future, and between China and the wider world. The chapters in this book were originally published in Critical Arts.
Introduction: Continuities and Changes for an Alternative Modernity
Qing Cao, Doreen Wu and Keyan G. Tomaselli
Part I: Chinese Society between Traditions and Modernity
1. Rupture in Modernity: A Case Study of Radicalism in the Late Qing Chinese Press Debate
2. Putonghua and Language Harmony: China’s Resources of Cultural Soft Power
3. Mobile, Online and Angry: The Rise of China’s Middle-Class Civil Society?
4. The Return of the Repressed: Three Examples of How Chinese Identity Is Being Reconsolidated for the Modern World
Hugo de Burgh and David Feng
Part II: Negotiating Identities in Moving Images
5. Becoming Global, Remaining Local: The Discourses of International News Reporting by CCTV-4 and Phoenix TV Hong Kong
Doreen Wu and Patrick Ng
6. Shanghai Cosmopolis: Negotiating the Branded City
7. Promoting Moral Values through Entertainment: A Social Semiotic Analysis of the Spring Festival Gala on China Central Television
8. Negotiated "Chineseness" and Divided Loyalties: My American Grandson
9. Articulating for Tibetan Experiences in the Contemporary World: A Cultural Study of Pema Tseden’s and Sonthar Gyal’s Films
Part III: Representing China in Texts and Symbols
10. The Language of Soft Power: Mediating Socio-political Meanings in the Chinese Media
11. Media Representations of China: A Comparison of China Daily and Financial Times in Reporting on the Belt and Road Initiative
Lejin Zhang and Doreen Wu
12. Conflicting Images of the Great Wall in Cultural Heritage Tourism
Jieyun Feng, Yanan Li and Peng Wu
13. China’s Current Discursive Governance: A Discourse Analysis Perspective