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PPA Talk Series: Sino-British Relationship and British Newspapers’ Coverage of China in the 21st Century

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Speaker: Dr. Qingning Wang, Assistant Professor, Xi’an-Jiaotong Liverpool University


This talk will delve into the portrayal of China in British newspapers during the first two decades of the 21st century. Its primary aim is to examine how media coverage reflects the power dynamics between these two nations and their positions on the global stage. It will explore how evolving relationships and power dynamics have been mirrored in the coverage of China by British news media. It will use five specific case studies: the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the "Golden Age" of UK-China relations as coined during the Cameron-Osborne government, Brexit, the US-China Trade War, and the COVID-19 outbreak. Through an analysis of these cases, it argues that the British news media's perspective on China has undergone three stages: recognition, accommodation, and concern. These stages parallel shifts in British government policy and the evolving roles of both China and the UK in the global arena. In the 21st century, the British media's approach to China oscillates between engagement and containment. While not always portraying China as a hostile state, there is a growing trend toward perceiving it as a threat, which is increasingly gaining prominence over voices advocating for cooperation.

About the Speaker

Dr. Qingning Wang is an assistant professor in media and communication studies at Department of Media and Communication, Xi’an-Jiaotong Liverpool University. Before joining XJTLU, she worked in University of Kent and University of East Anglia in the UK. Her research interests draw on digital media, online political communication, government-public engagements, and international communication.

Date: 2023-11-09, Thu
Time: 15:00
Venue: Room 966, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Poster link: Talk Series Poster_20231109.JPG