Heroes in Harm’s Way: COVID-19 Narratives of China as a Form of Soft Power

Asian Studies

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Field Value
 
Title Heroes in Harm’s Way: COVID-19 Narratives of China as a Form of Soft Power
Heroji v Plemenitih upornikih: Kitajske pripovedi o COVID-19 kot oblika mehke moči
 
Creator Fedtke, Jana
Ibahrine, Mohammed
Wang, Yuting
 
Subject China
COVID-19 narratives
soft power
wolf warrior diplomacy
docudramas
heroism
Kitajska
pripovedi o COVID-19
mehka moč
diplomacija volčjih bojevnikov
dokumentarne drame
junaštvo
 
Description This paper examines COVID-19 narratives of China as a form of soft power. The coronavirus pandemic and its handling have presented an image problem for China on the global stage. The country has struggled to control the narratives surrounding the pandemic. This article is interdisciplinary in nature with a focus on contemporary Chinese history, culture, and politics, as well as communication issues and narratives. It analyses non-fictional and fictional narratives as part of China’s COVID-19 diplomacy. Beyond documentaries, this paper examines the two docudramas Heroes in Harm’s Way 最美逆行者 (2020) and With You 在一起 (2020) and how these popular TV shows present the coronavirus crisis in China at the beginning of the pandemic. We argue that they provide positive narratives of the COVID-19 response that highlight people’s courage and sacrifice to inspire the Chinese population to stand together as a nation. The docudramas showcase everyday life during the lockdown in Wuhan over 76 days from the end of January 2020 to early April 2020. Nurses, doctors, and patients are represented as heroic characters who fight the pandemic together. Heroes in Harm’s Way and With You are testament of a united China broadcast both to domestic audiences and viewers abroad. The docudramas function as damage control to enhance China’s image in the world. This helps increase China’s soft power as the country presents itself as a capable force for good within its boundaries and beyond.
Članek obravnava pripovedi o koronavirusni bolezni na Kitajskem kot obliki mehke moči. Pandemija in soočanje z njo sta na svetovni ravni na Kitajsko vrgla slabo luč, zato se je država trudila nadzirati pripovedi o pandemiji. S poudarkom na sodobni kitajski zgodovini, kulturi, politiki ter vprašanjih komunikacije in naracije pričujoči interdisciplinarni članek analizira resnične in izmišljene pripovedi kot del kitajske koronavirusne diplomacije. Obravnava priljubljeni dokumentarni drami Plemeniti uporniki (kit. Original 最美逆行者; ang. prevod Heroes in Harm’s Way) in S skupnimi močmi (kit. original 在一起; ang. prevod With You) iz leta 2020 ter pokaže, kako ti seriji prikazujeta koronavirusno krizo na Kitajskem ob začetku pandemije. Trdimo, da ponujata pozitivne pripovedi o odzivu na COVID-19, ki poudarjajo pogum in požrtvovalnost ljudi, da bi navdihnili kitajsko prebivalstvo, naj stopi skupaj kot narod. Izbrani dokudrami prikazujeta vsakdanje življenje v 76 dneh zaprtja Wuhana od konca januarja do začetka aprila 2020. Medicinske sestre, zdravniki in bolniki so predstavljeni kot junaški liki, ki se skupaj borijo proti pandemiji. Heroji v omenjenih serijah pričajo o duhu enotne Kitajske, epizode pa so na voljo tako domačemu občinstvu kot tudi gledalcem v tujini. Dokudrame delujejo kot nadzor škode za izboljšanje podobe Kitajske v svetu. To pripomore k povečevanju mehke moči Kitajske, saj se država predstavlja kot sposobna sila znotraj in zunaj svojih meja.
 
Publisher Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakulte / Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts
 
Date 2022-01-19
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier https://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/as/article/view/10210
10.4312/as.2022.10.1.287-314
 
Source Asian Studies; Vol. 10 No. 1 (2022): Special Issue: Crisis as Danger and Hope—Covid-19 in Asia; 287-314
Azijske študije; Letn. 10 Št. 1 (2022): Special Issue: Crisis as Danger and Hope—Covid-19 in Asia; 287-314
2350-4226
2232-5131
10.4312/as.2022.10.1
 
Language eng
 
Relation https://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/as/article/view/10210/10041
 
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Jana FEDTKE, Mohammed IBAHRINE, Yuting WANG
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0
 

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