Central and Eastern European Countries Through the Eyes of Chinese Social Media: A Case Study of the Official Micro-Blog of China’s Foreign Ministry with Regard to European Affairs
Tongji University, Shanghai
Data publikacji: 30-09-2019
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2019;55(3):59-76
In order to promote public understanding of Europe and the Sino-European relations, on August 24, 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China opened an official micro-blog through a Sina Weibo account named ‘@Zhongou Xinshi’ (which could be translated into English as ‘Sino–Europe messenger’). In this paper, the authors apply textual and content analysis methods to examine the posts in the micro-blog in order to find out what kind of image of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has been shaped by Chinese officials, as reflected in this specific Chinese social media account from 2012 on. The main findings of this study have revealed that the Chinese government is shaping the images of the CEE region on three levels: first, there is the whole region of CEE; second, there are the sub-regions, such as the Baltic countries, Visegard group, Balkan countries; and the third level is represented by the sixteen CEEC considered separately. The quantitative analysis based on the investigated posts shows an evident asymmetry between the images of sub-regions and individual countries. Meanwhile, countries that have closer political or economic relations with China have been posted on the ‘@Zhongou Xinshi’ more frequently.
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