Foreign or Chinese? Reconfiguring the Symbolic Space of Chinese Media

Wanning Sun


While we already know about the Chinese Party-state’s ambition to expand its mediasphere globally, we know less about the shape that this expansion has assumed, and the pathways that have been pursued to facilitate it. This article addresses these questions by discussing the changing definitions of “domestic” and “foreign” media, as well as examining the reconfiguration of symbolic spaces within which China is reported. The article first gives a detailed account of the so-called Andrea Yu affair, which, as will become clear, embodies the complex and dynamic processes by which the symbolic spaces of China-reporting are being reconfigured as a result of China’s going-global project. This is followed by an outline of a number of pathways that the Chinese state media have taken in recent years. Finally, the paper considers the tensions and complexities in China’s efforts to go global, paying particular attention to the interplay of geographical, political, and ideological factors.


China, state media, foreign media, foreign correspondent, symbolic space, deterritorializationmedia; symbolic space; boundary; deterritorialization

Full Text: