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The discursive reproduction of Chinese and Japanese national identities: Editorials and opinions of the East China Sea dispute in the China Daily and Daily Yomiuri
Unformatted Document Text:  News, identity and ideology 17 which shows various government agencies as agents acting in unison on behalf of its people. Extract 5 Japan claims that the detention of Zhan is in accordance with its so called domestic law, which is based on Tokyo’s new stance that “there is no territorial dispute with China over the Diaoyu Islands”. The Chinese government and people are shocked at the U-turn in Japan’s stance on the issue. (China Daily, September 23) Extract 6 The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese embassy in Japan have demanded immediate release of the ship and its crew and guarantee their safe package back home. The Chinese government is taking all necessary steps to protect Chinese people’s life and property. (China Daily, September 10) In contrast, the China Daily syntactically delinks the Japanese government and its citizens. While it goes into great detail into China’s historical claims of sovereignty it resorts to vagueness when describing the Japanese use of “propaganda” to inculcate the belief among citizens that the islands are part of Japan; and arguing that “the use of the propaganda machine for such a purpose has been so frequent that those in Japan who admit that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China have become the minority in the country” (September 15). The very same line of argument is made by the Daily Yomiuri as it constructs an authoritarian Chinese government that flouts international laws, suppresses press freedom and a citizenry that is easily manipulated by the Chinese leadership through the media and indoctrination in its education system. Such a strategy of dissimilation, as extracts 7 and 8 illustrate, serves to make China stand out as a country that deviates from the norm on how responsible nations should conduct themselves in the international political stage. In particular, extract 9 uses the rhetorical strategy of antithesis to describe in detail the normative requirements for a ‘free’ country (implying that Japan is a member of such a categorization). After setting the standard the passage then reveals how China falls short far

Authors: Chan, Michael.
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News, identity and ideology 17
which shows various government agencies as agents acting in unison on behalf of its people.
Extract 5
Japan claims that the detention of Zhan is in accordance with its so called 
domestic law, which is based on Tokyo’s new stance that “there is no 
territorial dispute with China over the Diaoyu Islands”. The Chinese 
government and people are shocked at the U-turn in Japan’s stance on the 
issue. (China Daily, September 23)
Extract 6
The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese embassy in Japan have demanded 
immediate release of the ship and its crew and guarantee their safe package 
back home. The Chinese government is taking all necessary steps to protect 
Chinese people’s life and property. (China Daily, September 10)
In contrast, the China Daily syntactically delinks the Japanese government and its 
citizens. While it goes into great detail into China’s historical claims of sovereignty it resorts 
to vagueness when describing the Japanese use of “propaganda” to inculcate the belief among 
citizens that the islands are part of Japan; and arguing that “the use of the propaganda 
machine for such a purpose has been so frequent that those in Japan who admit that the 
Diaoyu Islands belong to China have become the minority in the country” (September 15).
The very same line of argument is made by the Daily Yomiuri as it constructs an 
authoritarian Chinese government that flouts international laws, suppresses press freedom 
and a citizenry that is easily manipulated by the Chinese leadership through the media and 
indoctrination in its education system. Such a strategy of dissimilation, as extracts 7 and 8 
illustrate, serves to make China stand out as a country that deviates from the norm on how 
responsible nations should conduct themselves in the international political stage. In 
particular, extract 9 uses the rhetorical strategy of antithesis to describe in detail the 
normative requirements for a ‘free’ country (implying that Japan is a member of such a 
categorization). After setting the standard the passage then reveals how China falls short far 


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