Saving Face: China's Challenge to Portray a Positive Image in International Relations

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation

Abstract

This study concentrates on the role of image in interstate relations of People’s Republic of China. China’s emerging power and its impact are among the most intensely discussed topics worldwide. In particular, China puts considerable emphasis on enhancing its positive image and promoting its values, thereby provoking heated debates on the nature of its intentions. Language is one of the most powerful tools for China to create and maintain a positive image. This paper examines the linguistic strategies China (represented by governmental officials) employs in order to balance between the positive image it wants to present and multiple challenges, both domestic and foreign, it has to deal with. We rely on Goffman (1967) and Brown and Levinson (1987) socio-pragmatic theory of Face, which was first developed to describe interaction between individuals. This research applies theory of Face to communications made by state actors on the premise that whole nations have Face which they enhance and protect. In order to ensure coherence and objectivity, first-hand sources (Chinese government statements in the form of Ministry of Foreign Affairs press conferences) are collected and subjected to qualitative linguistic analysis. The main tool employed to investigate the role of image in China’s foreign policy is political linguistics and corpus-assisted discourse analysis strategies. Chinese government’s strategies of facekeeping and image-enhancement present an extensive source of analysis because of the particularly controversial nature of China’s policy, both domestic and foreign, as well as due to the key role attributed to face and image in Chinese culture.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2018
EventNinth International Conference on The Image : Artificial Images and Visual Intelligence: Seeing in the Age of Big-Data - Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
Duration: 3 Nov 20184 Nov 2018
https://ontheimage.com/about/history/2018-conference

Conference

ConferenceNinth International Conference on The Image : Artificial Images and Visual Intelligence: Seeing in the Age of Big-Data
CountryHong Kong
CityKowloon Tong
Period3/11/184/11/18
Internet address

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    MARAKHOVSKAIA, M. (2018). Saving Face: China's Challenge to Portray a Positive Image in International Relations. Ninth International Conference on The Image : Artificial Images and Visual Intelligence: Seeing in the Age of Big-Data, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong.