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"Novel Narratives" of China Threat and the Impact on Sino-U.S. People-to-People Exchanges

Xin Qiang

Nankai Journal (Philosophy,Literature and Social Science Edition)

Xin Qiang and Chen Chen, "¡®Novel Narratives¡¯of China Threat and the Impact on Sino-U.S. People-to-People Exchanges,"

Nankai Journal (Philosophy,Literature and Social Science Edition), No. 4, 2021


Abstract: ¡±Threat paradigm¡± is the fundamental factor of America¡¯s national security perception, while the construction of threat cognition is the basis and premise for the United States(U.S.)to identify its competitors, consolidate domestic consensus and take countermeasures. In response to external challenges so as to maintain its global hegemony, the U.S. has gradually formed an observable pattern of threat perception by defining external threats and rendering ¡°threatened¡± narratives, constructing the antithesis of ¡°self¡± and ¡°the others¡±, and then developing a policy consensus through government-led propaganda and public communication. In the post-Cold War period, the perception of threat in the U.S. has gradually evolved, wherein the narrative of ¡°China threat¡± has extended from its previous focus on the growth of China¡¯s economy and military power to manifold realms, namely, politics, culture, society, science and technology, and ideology. After Donald Trump took office, the U.S. government explicitly defined China as its foremost strategic rival and reformulated the ¡°threat perception¡± in all aspects against China. The multi-faceted ¡°novel narratives of ¡°China threat¡±, mainly based on¡° threat of value¡±, ¡°threat of political and cultural infiltration¡±, and ¡°threat of technology theft and espionage¡±, eventually brought forth severe impacts on the cultural and social exchanges between the two countries.

Keywords: Threat Perception   ¡°China Threat¡± Theory   Policy Narratives  Sino-U.S. People-to-People Exchanges

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