Building a Network to “Tell China Stories Well”: Chinese Diplomatic Communication Strategies on Twitter
The phrase “tell China stories well” (jianghao zhongguo gushi) is an important guide to China’s approach to public diplomacy. Uttered by Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013, this phrase is an encouragement to use China’s own communication channels to promote and testify to official Chinese views and opinions and to strengthen the international influence of China. While social media diplomacy in China is still in its infancy, the Chinese government has launched a few diplomatic Twitter accounts to develop its public diplomacy network and to post stories about China for a global audience. Using a mixed-methods approach (i.e., manual coding, computer-assisted content analysis, network analysis, and discourse analysis), we examined how the Chinese government has mobilized a small number of diplomatic Twitter accounts to build a communication network and pursue the external propaganda goals of the Communist Party of China.