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Young Alumni Network - China’s Mass Spectacles and the 2022 Winter Games

woensdag 2 maart 2022

A talk and Q&A by Florian Schneider

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) began the 21st century with a new-and-improved public relations approach. In the eyes of China’s propaganda experts, the PRC’s increasing economic, political, and cultural relevance in the world needed to be matched with a communication strategy that would alleviate suspicions about a potential ‘China Threat’ abroad while simultaneously showcasing the leadership’s policies to a domestic audience. A corner stone in this communication strategy has been mass spectacle the Olympic Games, the World Exposition, and large-scale military parades. Each of these endeavours has been hailed by China’s state media as the grandest and most impressive event of its kind, and as China’s ultimate arrival on the world stage.

In this talk, Florian Schneider (Leiden University) examines how the recent 2022 Winter Olympics fit into this quest for recognition and the Chinese government’s attempts to justify itself before domestic audiences. The talk explores the communication strategies that informed such events, and it shows how they have provided arenas for experimentation and innovation, allowing various elite actors in the PRC to create networks of political collaboration and recalibrate discourses about the Chinese nation.

More info and registration

This event is open to all young alumni (up to and including the age of 35) of Leiden University.

Date Wednesday 2 March 2022
Time 12.00-13.00 hrs (CET)
Location Online
Cost Free
Registration Please register here
Language English
Florian Schneider

About Florian Schneider

Florian Schneider is a Senior University Lecturer Modern China Studies at Leiden University and the Director of the LeidenAsiaCentre. His research interests include questions of governance and public administration in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan, and Hong Kong, political communication strategies and political content of popular Chinese entertainment, recent Chinese economic developments, as well as Chinese foreign policy.

One of his focus areas concentrates on staged mass-media events in mainland China, such as the Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in 2008, the 60th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China in 2009, and the Shanghai Expo in 2010. The project explores how the Chinese leadership makes use of such events to promote a national identity and legitimize its own rule. A primary question in this regard is how concepts of tradition and of modernization (or progress) feature into such events, and what impact they have on the interaction between China and other actors in the international community.

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