1Hobova, Ye.
1A. Yu. Krymskyi Institute of Oriental Studies, NAS of Ukraine. 4, Hrushevskoho Str., Kyiv, 01001, Ukraine
Kitaêznavčì doslìdžennâ 2020, 2:145-152
https://doi.org/10.51198/chinesest2020.02.145
Section: Chinese Language and Literature
Language: Ukrainian
Abstract: 

The most recent sociology research shows historically low view of China in the world for the last 18 years, all despite its best efforts to maintain the image of a great and benign power. This drop appeared as unprecedent events in Hongkong, Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region and Wuhan unfolded, undermining confidence in China all over the world. At the same time the PRC government has been actively supporting the growth of China’s soft power since 2013, stressing the necessity to “broadcast China’s voice”. Shaping strategic narrative became one of the key tasks for the Chinese media. However, it seems that they appeared to be ineffective in the context of crises in China and the world during 2020. The paper investigates possible reasons for the narratives’ failure to thrive. “China is a responsible country” narrative is analyzed, as well as issues of translation and perception of its key messages. Detailed linguistic analysis of the 责任 zeren concept in Chinese language shows that it is highly contextdependent and allows for both positive and negative interpretations. While trying to create an outward image of a responsible power, China pushed the slogan of ‘openness, transparency and responsibility’ in many of its official statements, especially in critical communication. Ambiguity of the key concept 责任 zeren when used in Chinese English language media and translations of PRC officials’ speeches, is also present in its English translation “responsibility”. However, the Western English language media uses this word mostly in negative contexts, that imply “China’s guilt”, more than often by blaming China for the pandemic. Focusing on the usage of this strategic narrative the paper describes how it changes its meaning from flattering to critical in different circumstances and contexts.

Keywords: China, crisis communication, responsibility, strategic narratives

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