Language Representation of Territorial Conflict in South China Sea in PRC and USA Mass Media

Authors: Anna Kripak (Chuvash State University named after I.N. Ulyanov, Greece)
Yulia Dyundik
Tatiana Shishmareva
Speaker: Anna Kripak
Topic: Social Psychology of Language
COMELA 2022 General Session


Today the South China Sea can be considered one of the major places of world tension and is often called the “maritime Balkans” of the twenty-first century. Special attention is paid to the key role of the USA in this conflict. The South China Sea dispute has evolved from a territorial and maritime dispute among the claimant states to a source of competition between China and the United States. China tries hard to stifle America’s power in the region, while America does a lot not to let China gain more power and become the new world leader both in economics and politics. The study considers language representation of the development and current state of affairs of territorial conflict in the South China Sea between China and ASEAN countries. The purpose of the study is to analyze language representation of this conflict in modern PRC and US Mass Media and how the vocabulary used in articles helps manipulate people’s awareness and attitude towards the conflict situation. The material analyzed is taken from three different sources: American analytical newspaper articles written in English, analytical newspaper articles by Chinese authors, written in English and analytical newspaper articles written in Chinese by Chinese authors. Such types of articles and commentaries are usually intently very emotional and full of evaluation lexis thus influencing definite apprehension of information presented. The same facts are described from different points of view in PRC and US Mass Media and aim to create the necessary opinion among the audience and assure the readers to come to necessary conclusions. This situation can be described as an example of so-called “Information warfare” when the country concerned can solve the conflict situation without any armed intervention. Conclusion. Chinese create stronger and more stable opinions thanks to figurativeness and expressiveness of the Chinese language.

Keywords: language manipulation, language representation, China, the USA, ASEAN countries, South China Sea, territorial conflict.