The Rise of China: media perception and implicationsfor international politicsLi ZhangBY: ZAHRA BHATTIThe paper studies how China is aiming to enhance its soft power across the worldthrough projections of its culture and values using the media and foreign policy.China is using soft power as a tool to attract and portray a great image of itscountry on international level. The author has tried to link soft power, newsmedia and foreign relations together. and has shown china͛s rise, its significanceand involvement in international affairs.The author in this paper discusses the news media and China͛s national image aswell as the relationship between the news media and policy-making before goingon to examine the nature of Western media coverage of China. It theninvestigates the role of the media coverage of a rising China image intransforming China͛s international relations.The author further says that Chinahas gradually involved the international political and economic systems.The riseof China as an emerging great power has now been widely observed andrecognized across the globe. Both qualitative and quantitative methodologies have been used in the research.The paper is based on primary and secondary data. Personal interviews andanalysis of the author are utilized to support the argument. The evidence is fromwestern sources such as analysts, journals and articles as well as from china. Thisstudy shows that china is improving her image through social, economic, businessand ethnic implications in world politics. The government͚s policies, activities,their actions on international issues are shown on global level.The behavior andattitude of Chinese politicians, Chinese citizen and also the china products shapeup the image of china on international arena.
The writer argues that all of above the most considerable and distinguished factorin the promotion and portrayal of china͚s image abroad is the foreign news andmedia. They play an exceptional role in the country͛s reflection. There aredifferent types of news media, television, radio, newspaper and internet. They arethe sources which provide information on china͛s development; economy andsocial events. These together shape its recognition and perspicacity abroad.China͛s progressive participation in multilateral organizations, its neighbor policyor culture exchange activities, and its peace and trade treaties, are widely knownby people in other countries through the news media. She further argues that thisis a mediated world and all people are connected to each other and other peopleof the world through news media for information. But most significant are theforeign news media sources on which people rely. Media is such a medium thatlinks people from all over the world. It builds up the world for people, both publicand political elites. According to Chinese their soft power has 3 main sources theyare values, culture and foreign policy that builds up its perception as rising state.National image also has an impact on her foreign policy.The news media are not only important sources of information for policy-makers,but are also channels of communication within and between governments. Theyplay an important role in the process of policy-making. On the basis of researchanalysis and various interviews the study concludes by saying Western newssourcesprojects relationship between the media perception of China͛s rise as asoft power and brand. Especially china͛s foreign relations with the EuropeanUnion.News media plays a vital role as information providers in decision makingprocess and policy making process. All the gathered information goes under thevarious procedures before it becomes a policy of a state.The foreign policy-makers͛ understanding and perception of China is part of the fundamental basisfor the formulation of a China policy. The change of perception of China can beone of the factors that lead to the change in China policy. Therefore, change ofmedia coverage of China is one of the factors changing foreign policy towardChina.
Author further examines the perception of China in three transnational newsmedia, the Financial Times, The Economist and the International Herald Tribune,in Europe from 1989 to 2005. These show the coverage of China from 1989 to2005. Author has selected these 3 publications due to its popularity amongstEuropean elites.Analysis of these sources provides a good representation of themainstream image of China in theEuropean public sphere.The data shows that the volume of media coverage of China in the FT and TheEconomist increased in general during the whole period from 1989 to 2005. But inthe IHT, the volume fluctuated with a peak in the mid-1990s and increased againduring the last three years of study.The study also measures the overall newsvolume of the three publications. The findings show that the overall number ofpages for news stories in the three newspapers has been relatively stable duringthe 17-year period under study.The three European news media are interested inreporting the different aspects of China. Mainly politics and military, foreignrelations and world affairs,economic/trade/finance and business, culture/arts andeducation, society and health, disasters , crime, human rights, sport, cross-Straitrelations, Tiananmen, the handover of Hong Kong, science and technology,environment and energy.The statistics indicate that the economic, trade, financeand business aspect of China has drawn the most attention from the newsmedia.It occupies the biggest proportion of Chinese coverage overall in all threepublications.Done by the author, content analysis from the news media shows that two topiccategories, the economic aspect and external politics aspect, are most salient inChinese coverage in terms of both the percentage in subject distribution and theirplacement in the three news publications.This helps to build the absolute andaccurate image of a rising China in the media.The conclusion and inferences drawn by the author seem fairly logical. On thebasis of interviewing China correspondents for the media; the study explores thefactors that influence the volume change from the perspective of journalisticpractice. It argues that the matrix of news value regarding Chinese stories and the
number of correspondents working for the foreign media are two importantfactors leading the changing volume of Chinese coverage. In the period 1989ʹ1992 not much attention was paid to China.But the drastic events of the studentdemonstrations and the government crackdown drew much media attention andstimulated the coverage of China in 1989.The media reporting shows that from1993 the overall international climate toward China seemed to change.The mediapaid more attention to the economic reform in China, its big potential market andalso its great investment opportunities.China became a less interesting place than some other Asian countries during thefinancial crisis, which led to there being less space to cover China. But, on theother hand, China͛s economy and its policies would have an impact on othercountries in the region at times of crisis, which made China still an importantplace to cover. After joining the WTO in 2001, China engaged in the internationalpolitical and economic systems quicker and evolved very fast. It has become abigger player in international issues and this turns it into both an interesting andan important country for the news media.Author͛s minor argument in this paper is thata goodindicator of the increasedinterest and importance of China has been the number of correspondentsworking in China for the European transnational newspapers, which in turncontributes to the growing volume of Chinese coverage.The validity of theargument is justified. By the data collected that the coverage of economic, trade,finance and business news story occupies the biggest portion of China reportingoverall. China͛s economy experienced a boom in the 1990s and it continues togrow at a very fast rate in the twenty-first century. China͛s big potential marketcaptured a large amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), numerous jointventure companies were established, while some big cities, such as Beijing,Shanghai and Guangzhou, became quite modern. The economic boom changedthe face of China and became the country͛s most important event. The image ofthe economic aspect of a rising China is also as a country with very fast rates ofgrowth and development. Eye-catching statistics from China were very oftenpresented in the media and they themselves said everything about a fast-growingcountry.
China has become a much bigger economic story in the newspapers. As a result,China has been represented as an economically attractive place in the mediasince 1993. The picture of Chinarepresented in the media is that, on the onehand, a more and more opened-up China warmly welcomes foreign investmentunder its reform policies; while on the other hand, the newly opened big marketlures foreigners to scramble over one another to invest in China. A rising image ofChina economically is first of all of a country with huge opportunities for tradeand investment. Thus China became an economically hot place as foreignbusinessmen and bankers are flocking there to do deals. China is also involvedwith other strategic issues, for example, its dealings with Africa, Latin America,and the problem of Iran and so on, because these places are also importantsources of its raw materials and energy.Hence, China is naturally becoming a biggerplayer in diplomatic and political issues regionally and globally.Author finally concludes that the data and findings indicate that the proportion ofoverall Chinese coverage has increased. Therefore, the growing presence ofChinese coverage in the European news media can be said to reflect theincreasing interest in China by the Western world. Also how other countries maketheir policies towards china and how they treat her. Hence such power of newsmedia cannot be ignored in international politics arena.The possible role ofthemedia coverage of China͛s rise in this can be described as the news media, asthe main information sources for EU officials on a daily basis, havehelpedEUofficials to understand the development, change and rise of China.Theimage of a rising China in the media is a soft power transforming its foreignrelations by influencing the policy-making of other countries or entities toward it.The article will be placed under the analytical section of my research in which Iwill critically evaluate the factors contributing towards china as growing power.Some parts of it will also fall under the conclusion section.All the information andfacts provided are relevant to my work as my study is on China the next economicsuperpower.It shows the relationship of media perception and China͚s policyinvolved in global politics.