Winning hearts and minds: A text mining approach to China’s media diplomacy 1979-2018/ Yushu Zhu, Ph.D. (2019.6.27)

【CSR Seminar】

Topic: Winning hearts and minds: A text mining approach to China’s media diplomacy 1979-2018

Speaker: Yushu Zhu, Ph.D. (Survey research manager, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada)

Time: 2019 / 6 / 27 (Thursday) 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Venue: Conference Room I, Research Center for Humanities and Social Science (RCHSS), Academia Sinica

As a growing economy with increasingly influential role in the global governance, China has long been developing and improving its public diplomacy strategies to win the respect and positive attitudes of foreign audiences. One of these strategies that has been most important in winning the hearts and minds of foreign audiences is China’s media diplomacy.

In this study, we first examined China’s media diplomacy narratives and apparatus from 1979-2018, with an aim to document the evolution of the country’s media diplomacy strategy. Then as a case study, we adopted a text mining approach, including topic modeling, to further scrutinize the social media (i.e. Twitter) content of China’s state news agency, and examine the messages the Chinese state delivers to the western audience, the approaches of the messaging, as well as receptiveness of the messages among foreign audiences, in particular, the Canadian public.

The research shows that China’s media diplomacy has evolved from passive propaganda of Socialism ideology to defensive imaging building, and finally to offensive construction of Chinese discourse in the world stage. While the media apparatus in China has become increasingly centralized, the media diplomacy approach has become more tactful and more sophisticated. Meanwhile, while China may have gaining its hard power, it is losing its soft power overseas.

Organizer: Center for Survey Research, RCHSS, Academia Sinica

Contact: (02)2789-8132 Claire Hsieh