From soft power to sharp power: China's media image in Hong Kong's health crises from 2003 to 2020
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AbstractThis article examines China's media image in Hong Kong's health crises of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003 and the coronavirus disease-19 in 2020. Both diseases were allegedly transmitted from mainland China to Hong Kong, which triggered extensive media coverage and intensive debates over China's role in epidemic control, reaction, and its trust in Hong Kong and the world. In 2003, China established a relatively positive and constructive media image in Hong Kong during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome crisis, particularly when Chinese state leaders made themselves visible to the people. However, in the wake of coronavirus disease-19, media and public discourses have speculated about China's failure to contain the pandemic, questioning China's informational credibility. Theoretically, we argue that the comparison of China's media image in Hong Kong during the health crises of severe acute respiratory syndrome and coronavirus disease-19 indicates that China's international image has shifted from a soft power to a sharp power. While Hong Kong is under Chinese sovereignty as a Special Administrative Region of China and a global financial and business hub, its media discourses continue to indicate how overseas opinion perceives the rise of China and its performance as a global citizen. Our findings show that the scholarly dialogues on soft power and sharp power were manifested in the news frames of severe acute respiratory syndrome and coronavirus disease-19 in Hong Kong. We will conceptualize the shifting media image by revisiting the concepts of soft power, sharp power, and the international debate on the rise of China in recent decades.
All Author(s) ListChan CK, Fung AYH
Journal nameGlobal Media and China
Volume Number6
Issue Number1
Pages62 - 76
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsChina, coronavirus disease-19, Hong Kong, media image, severe acute respiratory syndrome, sharp power, soft power
Web of Science Subject CategoriesCommunication;Communication

Last updated on 2021-23-06 at 23:30