The favourable partner: An analysis of Lianhe Zaobao’s representation of China in Southeast Asia

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Singapore has, since its founding, had a critical role regarding Southeast Asia’s (SEA) interaction with China. The city-state has acted as both an enthusiastic promoter of closer ties with China and also as one of the prominent supporters of a hedging strategy regarding the involvement of extra-regional powers in SEA. There has not been any substantial analysis or explanation of how China and Southeast Asia is represented in the local media. Given the ongoing significance of news media as a means to communicate ideas and agendas to a wide audience both online and offline this gap is notable. This article will contribute some initial findings based on an analysis of articles related to China and SEA in the Lianhe Zaobao newspaper. Sino-Singaporean relations are presented in a positive sense regardless of whether the focus is economic, political, or social; in contrast when discussing China and SEA as a region issues of insecurity and other negative aspects become more prominent. This suggests that while the Singaporean media reports China in a positive light regarding bilateral relations there is a clear willingness to raise awareness of the broader regional challenges of China’s rise. It plays the dual role of both friend and critic.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the British Association for Chinese Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2018


  • Lianhe zaobao
  • Singapore
  • China
  • Southeast Asia
  • media
  • representation


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