Jawing through Crises: Chinese and Vietnamese Media Strategies in the South China Sea
Journal of Contemporary China, 28:119, 712-72
22 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2021
Date Written: February 26, 2019
Winston Churchill once said, “it is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.” However, negotiations are particularly difficult when they are enmeshed in public opinion precommitments. The sharpest crisis between China and Vietnam in the last 30 years concerned the placement of a Chinese oil rig into contested waters in 2014. This study analyses the Chinese and Vietnamese propaganda efforts surrounding the crisis as examples of the instrumental use of propaganda in managing domestic public opinion on diplomatic crises. The article argues that despite very different approaches to public diplomacy during the crisis, both states were primarily concerned with avoiding escalation and ending the confrontation. The authors show how propaganda function as a pacifying device in dealing with rising domestic nationalism when executing a moderate foreign policy.
Keywords: South China Sea, Chinese Media, Vietnamese Media, Oil Rig Crisis 2014
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