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Dr. Xiaoling Zhang
How Ready is China for a China-style World Order? China's State Media Discourse Under Construction
Zhang, X. 2013, Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies. 34(3): 79 - 101
Abstract: What is exactly a China-style world order that Chinese officials and intellectual elites have been recently talking about, and how ready is China for it? An examination of the discourses by major state media for the promotion of China’s voice and image abroad, contextualized and enhanced by extensive in-depth interviews, confirms that although China has shifted from the low-profile approach to a more assertive one wanting to change the global order, its verbal challenge and sometimes harsh criticism of the US-led international system is accompanied by an obvious absence of a clear vision of what the new world order should be like.
Popular news media
China Makes Voice Heard Above Din
Zhang, X. 2013, China Daily. 21 January 2013
Abstract: As the main engine of global economic growth in the 21st century, China is making its presence felt throughout the world. Africa is no exception. China is Africa's largest trading partner, with bilateral trade surging from $10 billion in 2000 to $200 billion in 2012. There are those who say that China, apart from the flourishing trade ties it enjoys with the continent, has already displaced European, US and Japanese diplomatic and financial soft power in many sub-Saharan African countries, as part of its global outreach campaign to promote its language,culture, values and diplomacy. In addition to establishing 29 Confucius Institutes and classrooms in 22 African countries, China has focused on increasing its media presence on the continent. It is using media in Africa as a testing ground to compete with other transnational media companies.
China Claims Its Place in the Global Media-sphere
Zhang, X. 2012, School of Contemporary Chinese Studies (SCCS) Newsletter Autumn 2012 / Issue 10.
Abstract: China has accorded great importance to strategies of gaining a broader influence to accompany its significantly increased economic engagement with the world. Take Africa, for example. In addition to the setting up of 29 Confucius Institutes and Classrooms in 22 African countries by July 2012, other initiatives there include infrastructural and technical support to the media sector, along with a greatly increased media presence.
Sino-African Cooperation in the Media Sphere: Part of the Larger Phenomenon of China-Africa Relations
Zhang, X. 2012, China Policy Institute Blog: 2 October 2012.
Abstract: As the main engine of global economic growth in the 21st century, China is increasing its footprint in the four corners of the world. Africa is no exception. In fact it is one of the regions where China is more active than ever: today, China is Africa’s largest trading partner, overtaking the United States as Africa’s largest trade partner in 2009, and the bilateral trade volume surging from $10 billion in 2000 to more than $160 billion in 2011.
China’s Media Offensive in Africa
Zhang, X. 2013, Blog of the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at UNNC 13 July, 2013.
Abstract: China has accorded great importance to strategies of gaining a broader influence to accompany its significantly increased economic engagement with the world. Take Africa, for example. In addition to the setting up of 29 Confucius Institutes and Classrooms in 22 African countries by July 2012, other initiatives there include infrastructural and technical support to the media sector, along with a greatly increased media presence. The involvement of the Chinese media sector in Africa has a history, but this involvement only began its present scale of development in 2006. In that year Xinhua moved its Regional Editorial Office from Paris to Nairobi, a central hub in Africa for China’s ‘going abroad’ media project. The launch in 2006 of the state-run China Radio International (CRI) in Kenya can also be seen in this light. Similarly, CNC World, the English-language TV channel of the Chinese state news agency Xinhua reached cable television audiences in Africa from January 1, 2011.
A World of Shared Influence
Zhang, X. 2013 Blog of the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at UNNC 13 November 2013.
Abstract: Soft power has beguiled governments around the world. Appealingly, it serves national interests, cheaper than the exercise of hard power (money and force), at least in the short term, and nevertheless promises to win hearts and minds of overseas public with the right kind of culture, political values and foreign policies. Besides, other governments spend money and effort on it.
How ready is China for a China-style world order: Chinese official media discourse on the new global order
Invited speaker BRICS seminar at the 16th Highway Africa 2012 conference
Rhodes University South Africa September 2012
Charting the future of global journalism: China’s soft power in Africa
Wasserman, H., Mano, W. , Zhang, X. 2013
Future of Journalism conference, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, 12-13 September.
Abstract: The future of global journalism will shaped by the changing geopolitics which include the rise of the BRICS alignment of emerging states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).These shifts are already impacting on journalism in these regions. The involvement of China in Africa has been especially controversial. China's quest for resources has been seen by some critics as a new imperialist 'scramble for Africa' that could have negative consequences for the deepening of democracy on the continent, if China's attitude towards press freedom would be adopted by their new African trade partners. China’s intervention in African media in recent years includes greatly increasing media presence in Africa: Xinhua news agency operates from Nairobi and is widely accessible; China's television station CCTV also has its base in Kenya, while China Daily's African edition is published from Johannesburg. As important platforms for the promotion of soft power, large investments are being poured into official media organizations to improve their reporting and broadcasting, including exchange programmes and training for African journalists. How has this 'soft power' offensive of China impacted on journalism in African countries? This paper draws on fieldwork in three countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya – to assess the representation of China's involvement in African media, the perceptions of journalists and editors of China's soft power strategy and the implications of these developments for the liberal democracy model of journalism and media systems in Africa and further afield in the new emerging regions of the globe.
China’s Promotion of Soft Power in Africa: a study of emerging media relations between China and southern Africa
X Zhang, W Mano, and H. Wasserman 2013, at East Asian Societies In Transition: Challenges And Connections
University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK. 5 – 7 September 2013
Abstract: China has increased dramatically its economic engagement with Africa. At the same time, it has also been using Africa as the testing ground for the promotion of its soft power around the world. This paper first outlines China’s recent pursuit of soft power through its communications strategies in Africa, including its greatly increased media presence, exchange programmes and training for African journalists. Guided by theories on the influence of the media in society, (e.g., Curren, 2002, Johnson, 2005) and combining qualitative and quantitative analyses including content analysis, document analysis, in-depth interviews and focus group studies, this paper then assesses the effectiveness of China’s approach by examining the representation of China's involvement in African media and the perceptions of journalists and editors of China's soft power strategy. Two countries are used as case studies: South Africa and Zimbabwe. Although the case studies are only in southern Africa, the findings of the project contribute to answering such important questions as ‘is China’s infrastructural and technical support to the media sector, mostly owned by the state, having an impact on the power balance in Africa, favoring public and state-owned actors over private ones? How are Chinese perspectives of journalism being taken up in African media institutions? Does China’s state-centered one-actor model help to advance soft power in the diversified Africa? What are the implications of China’s increased intervention in the African cultural and media sphere for the western liberal democracy model?
Invited speaker for the seminar ‘A World of Influence’
organised by the BBC World Service, College of Journalism and Reuters Institute, 4 November 2013.