The national image of China in Britain in the first two decades of the 21st century
This talk focuses on China’s image in Britain in the first two decades of the 21st century. It will argue the builds and communications of the image involved three agendas in Britain: policy agenda, media agenda and public agenda.
By defining the meanings and importance of these agendas academically; discussing the setting, changes of each agenda and the interplays among these agendas based on empirical data, the book will argue that the image of China has gone through four different stages between 2000 and 2022 in Britain.
Between 2000 and 2008, was the stage of recognition. The image of China was portrayed as a developing country, but its fast growth started to be recognised by the British government, the media and the public.
Between 2009 and 2016 was the stage of accommodation and this period was also known as the ‘golden era’ between two nations. The overall image of China changed to a powerful country that the UK should work with it, especially economically, but debates over political differences between the two nations were also visible.
Between 2017 and 2019 was the stage of concern, as China’s powers and influences were regarded as concerning after the Brexit and US-China trade war. 2020 and 2022 was the stage of challenge, as the negative image further developed. China was seen as a country that threatens Britain’s interests.
The changes of images were results of China’s changing roles and performance in the international arena and also reflected the changing political and media landscape in Britain.
About the speaker
Dr. Qingning Wang is an assistant professor in media and communication studies at Department of Media and Communication, Xi’an-Jiaotong Liverpool University.
Her research interests draw on digital media, online political communication, government-public engagements and international communication.
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