Montevideo Convention and CGTN: Defining Statehood for Global Outreach
State-based global media efforts are rapidly expanding and have attracted a wide audience reach. Instagram, a rapidly growing photo- and video-sharing platform, however, remains understudied. To fill the gap, this study examines the audience-targeting strategies of CGTN (China Global Television Network) Instagram account about the United Nations’ institutional definition of statehood: territorial control, population control, governance, and capacity for alliances. Using topic modeling, this study reveals that CGTN Instagram, by intention or happenstance, promotes China’s relative institutional strength in relation to other countries through its targeted use of statehood-based posts across different languages. The study discusses a comparison of the divergent strategies of CGTN and RT statehood posts. Whereas RT adopts more aggressive rhetoric to showcase its military might and undermine the institutional legitimacy of rival states, CGTN adopts more celebratory means to expand its influence and promote its institutional successes. This study expands understanding of China’s global media operations, China-Russia comparative information strategy, and audience interaction on social media.