Line 21 Project coordinator, Nicholas Dynon, recently provided insights to Agence France-Presse (AFP) on the Chinese media’s coverage of the devastating earthquake that shook Yunnan province earlier this month.
The example set by the People’s Daily, commented Dynon, shows us that Chinese media coverage of the quake has followed a thematic pattern we would expect of disaster reportage out of China.
“The state-sponsored press has adhered largely to officially sanctioned themes, including the responsiveness of the central government and military, swiftness and professionalism of rescue and recovery efforts, accounts of death and destruction, stories of survival, and solidarity in grief”, he stated. “These themes reinforce the key messages that authorities have reacted appropriately and that the nation is united in its support.”
This research article by Nicholas Dynon in this April’s issue of the peer-reviewed China: an International Journal analyses the largely overlooked role of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the promotion of “socialist spiritual civilisation” in contemporising the exemplary role of the Chinese state and in informing the state’s efforts to rehabilitate China’s cultural traditions.
Drawing material from handbooks, newspaper articles and posters published between 1996 and 2002, it may be argued that the ability of the Party to reclaim the achievement of “civilisation” as an ultimate goal in Chinese history has a direct impact on its continuing pursuit to underwrite its long-term legitimacy. The article departs from the existing scholarship to locate the CPC’s civilising discourses within an historical context that predates the apotheosis of the CPC itself and links them to the sacred mission of maintaining the Chinese civilisation-state.
Center-periphery approach to viewing Chinese space
International news features regular reports of tensions on China’s borders. Chinese relations along its maritime frontier, for example, are dominated by acrimony over the disputed Spratly and Diaoyutai/Senkaku Islands. Thousands of kilometers to the west, China closely guards its Central Asian borders against the infiltration of Islamist extremists.
Respect for and protection of national sovereignty has long been a cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy, and it defines how Beijing conducts itself within the international system. Increasingly we are witnessing this not only in the geopolitical space but in cyberspace as well.
Utilizing a center-periphery approach, this two-part post will provide an overview of how China’s ideas and uses of geopolitical space are paralleled in the virtual world and in how Beijing controls its cyber borders. Read more at DiploFoundation…
The Tiananmen Gate in Beijing on National Day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When a blazing SUV rammed traffic cordons and ran over sightseers at the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing two weeks ago, killing five and injuring 40, media outlets reached for their usual suspects. Both Chinese and international commentators were quick to frame the suicide attack on the symbolic epicenter of China within the context of long-running ethnic tensions in the country’s peripheral Xinjiang region.
Chinese state-controlled media reported the incident as an act of terrorism, claiming that the East Turkistan Independence Movement (ETIM) – a group Beijing lists as an international terrorist organization – was behind the attack. Despite blaming ETIM for the incident, China’s top security official, Meng Jianzhu offered no details of the allegations against the group.
Fast-forward one week, and the November 6 bombing of Communist Party headquarters in the Shanxi province capital of Taiyuan has further heightened sensitivities just days out from the Party’s third plenum in Beijing. With no hint of jihadist involvement for authorities to point the finger at, this attack appears to be the latest in a spate of terror attacks emanating from well within China’s heartlands and far from its restive borders…
The Tiananmen gate house in Beijing, China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Line 21 Coordinator Nicholas Dynon recently fielded questions from Agence France-Presse (AFP) in relation to this week’s Tiananmen jeep incident in Beijing. This article appears today in The Australian newspaper online:
FESTERING discontent with China’s governance of Xinjiang is on the rise and Beijing is intent on clamping down, analysts say, in a vicious cycle that will only spin faster after this week’s fatal attack in Tiananmen Square.
Authorities say attacker Usmen Hasan and his wife and mother were carrying jihadist banners and machetes in the vehicle that they crashed into crowds outside the Forbidden City on Monday, before setting it alight and dying in the blaze… read more
Nicholas Dynon’s first post for the USC Center for Public Diplomacy CPD blog asks whether Beijing’s public diplomacy efforts are actually targeted at a domestic rather than foreign audience… Read it and contribute to the discussion
Separatist activity has long been a feature at the ethno-geographic margins of mainland China. In the autonomous regions of Tibet and Xinjiang, uprisings, riots and civil violence have met with successive waves of crackdowns for decades. The labeling of such violence as acts of international terrorism, however, is a relatively recent feature of Beijing’s stance on ethnic strife… read more at The Diplomat Magazine