Political Discourse in China: How Does China Frame Hong Kong Protests to Its Domestic Audience?
Keywords:Text analysis, autocracy, protest, political discourse, Hong Kong
The Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, starting from June 9, 2019, have presented a challenge to the Chinese regime. How has Chinese official media responded to this crisis on the internet? How has the regime framed the anti-regime protests to its mainland audience? In this paper, I describe the strategies used by the Chinese propaganda apparatus to enhance regime resilience. Using text analysis and data collected from Chinese official media, I show that China uses three main discursive devices in reporting on the Hong Kong protests to its domestic audience. First, the regime draws a clear line between in-group and out-group members. Second, the regime tries to promote internal solidarity by emphasizing unifying values such as nationalism and patriotism among in-group members to prevent influence from out-group members. Finally, the regime presents an external enemy to its domestic audience. In addition, using data collected from The New York Times, I also show a comparison between the Western framing and the Chinese framing of the movement.
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