Chinese Television and Soft Power Communication in Australia

Chinese Television and Soft Power Communication in Australia

By Mei Li

Anthem Studies in Soft Power and Public Diplomacy

‘Chinese Television and Soft Power Communication in Australia’ provides a systemic test of how successful/unsuccessful China’s soft power message projection is in terms of congruence between projected and received frames in Australia.

Hardback, 210 Pages


December 2019

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
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About This Book

In the context of China’s ascendancy, the world watches and listens. China wants to project a soft power image. One channel for its soft power communication – about its success and international cooperation – is international broadcasting. ‘Chinese Television and Soft Power Communication in Australia’ discusses China’s soft power communication approach and investigates information handling between China and its targeted audiences in the eyes of key influencers – intermediate elites (public diplomacy policy elites in particular) in China and Australia. Drawing on the case of the state-owned broadcaster CGTN – viewed by China as an essential soft power tool for framing its voice – the book examines empirically the reception to China’s soft power messaging by Australian audiences and the factors underpinning its reception.

The book provides a holistic, systemic evaluation of China’s soft power messaging seen as part of its power portfolio and what this means to the world order. Through media frame analysis of CGTN’s framing of China’s most ambitious and comprehensive initiative – the Belt and Road Initiative – and interviews with intermediate elites in China and the typical case of a Western target audience in Australia, it presents an in-depth theoretical discussion of the mechanisms of China’s communication approach through a soft power lens. It also reflects on an exploration of journalistic operations within CGTN (with staff from several professional cultures) and a systemic test of how successful/unsuccessful China’s soft power message projection is in terms of congruence between projected and received frames, as a pivotal factor of its power status.


‘China’s fast-paced economy is reshaping the international landscape with new trade and investment infrastructure. Chinese international TV must reassure the world about China’s rapid rise. Mei Li’s detailed study on Chinese international TV’s framing of BRI and its reception by Australian audiences is essential and edifying reading for China Watchers.’
—Naren Chitty, Foundation Chair in International Communication, Inaugural Director, Soft Power Analysis & Resource Centre, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University, Australia

‘At a time when China’s soft power is growing – and we are encouraged to suspect its “sharp power” – Mei Li provides a timely and important account of how China’s international broadcasting connects with its global ambitions. Australians in particular should study Li’s fascinating analysis to decide whether to welcome or remain suspicious of China’s soft power drive in their country.’
—Gary Rawnsley, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Professor of Public Diplomacy, University of Nottingham Ningbo China

Author Information

Mei Li holds a PhD in international communication from Macquarie University, Australia. A professional who has worked in the media industry in China, her research interests include international media and communication in the context of international relations, China’s soft power and public diplomacy especially in Australia and countries of the Indian Ocean littoral, and journalistic professionalism in the cross-cultural context. Her research has been published in reputed international journals and presented in high-level international conferences.


Anthem Studies in Soft Power and Public Diplomacy

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations; Acknowledgements; List of Abbreviations; 1. Introduction; 2. China’s Soft Power Strategy through Media; 3. International Relations, Information Flow and Soft Power; 4. Intended and Received Frames of China and the Expectation on Media; 5. Belt and Road Initiative in the Framing Process; 6. Discussion and Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.


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