Статья 'Актуальные понятия политического дискурса современных российских и китайских СМИ' - журнал 'Litera' - NotaBene.ru
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Current concepts of political discourse in modern Russian and Chinese media

Kha Tsun

ORCID: 0000-0001-9460-9957

Postgraduate student at the Department of General and Russian Linguistics, Philology Faculty, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

119361, Russia, Moscow, Miklukho-Maklaya str., 10-2A

1042218071@pfur.ru

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8698.2023.8.43789

EDN:

UMHTFG

Received:

10-08-2023


Published:

17-08-2023


Abstract: This article is devoted to the analysis of the most important concepts of political discourse in Russian and Chinese media for the modern society of these two countries. The article discusses various approaches to the interpretation of political discourse in Russia and China, reveals their similarities and differences, analyzes the key concepts of political discourse and draws conclusions about the specifics of their functioning in the context of modern leading print media in Russia and China. The relevance of this topic is due to the importance of analyzing and understanding the media environment in Russia and China, which nowadays plays a significant role in shaping public opinion and broadcasting state policy both inside and outside the country. The subject of the study is the most relevant concepts of the mass media of the Russian Federation and China, as well as methods for creating political discourse in these countries. As a result of the study, a list of relevant concepts of Russian and Chinese media is proposed, a list of common and distinctive features of the political discourse of the two countries is given, and the reasons for the uniqueness of the national political discourse of Russia and China, due to their national characteristics, political system, ideology, and finally, cultural differences between the two peoples, are indicated. At the same time, an analysis of the publications of the leading media in the Russian Federation and China showed that the common topics of articles in the two countries are the role of language and state ideology in the life of modern society.


Keywords:

political discourse, China, Russia, mass media, notion, language unit, verbal means of communication, non-verbal means of communication, concept, language contacts

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Introduction

Political discourse is an independent component of socio-political interaction, which is defined as a complex linguistic unit. The implementation of political discourse implies the use of not only verbal and nonverbal linguistic means, but also extralinguistic factors related to the axiological nature of communication, as well as cognitive structures that regulate the conditions of existence of the discourse itself.

Analyzing political discourse, one should take into account its polyphonic nature, its relationship with other communication processes and socio-cultural phenomena. It is important to note that political discourse acts as a way of forming social attitudes, creating social constructs and mental models.

The relevance of this topic is due to the importance of understanding and analyzing the media environment in Russia and China. The study makes it possible to understand which key concepts, messages and approaches are used in the political discourse in these countries. The data obtained in the course of the study will help to identify the features of information policy, the specifics of the influence of the media on public opinion, as well as to identify the features of differences and similarities in the information strategies of Russia and China.

The concept of political discourse in China and Russia

Let's consider the main approaches to the concept of "political discourse" in the works of Russian and Chinese researchers. Thus, Liu Yumeng considers political discourse as an integral tool of political activity. Yan Hui emphasizes that political discourse has unique characteristics associated with the embodiment of political thought in language [1, p. 2]. Tian Hailong highlights the linguistic features of political discourse, such as "strong purpose", "clear participants" and "various genres". In addition, scientists note that Chinese political discourse is focused on the general public (for example, the development of the idea of "three representative offices") and modernity (for example, the promotion of the initiative "One Belt, One Road") [2, p. 115].

Political discourse reflects the socio-political life of the country, as it contains unique semantic and stylistic expressions. It is important to understand that political discourse is closely related to ideology and is a key element of the latter. Wang Shaohua and Zhang Wei emphasize the need to build a strategic, global and dialogical political discourse [2, p. 146].

Building a system of political discourse is an integral requirement of the era, which underlies the development of modern China. The country faces the need to adapt to changes in the global social structure and the requirements of future economic, social and cultural development. In this context, Zhang Shengli emphasizes that the modern political discourse of China is a system dominated by the Communist Party of China (CPC). Therefore, Chinese political discourse reflects the ideological line, guiding principles and policies of the party. In it, each member of the CPC interacts with a political partner and participates in an exchange of views with the reader of printed publications. The main purpose of this discourse is to take care of the interests of the broad strata of society.

The central concepts in China's political discourse are the "Chinese Dream", the "One Belt, One Road" initiative and the idea of a "community of the common destiny of mankind". These concepts form the basis of Chinese political discourse and contribute to the further development of the theory of socialism with Chinese specifics. This allows the CPC, headed by Secretary General Xi Jinping, to predict and shape the future of China, as well as to play the role of a leader and defender of the interests of the world community.

It is important to note that the construction of a system of political discourse in China involves the application of Marxist principles and methods in solving practical problems of a national scale. Ren Meyi emphasizes that it is necessary to formulate the content of political discourse taking into account the objective laws of the country's development and the role of the CPC as a subject of discourse, as well as relying on the theory of socialism underlying China's political path. With the gradual development of the country, an ambitious task arises — to expand the audience of the media, and therefore the participants of the discourse to the international level.

In modern Russian linguistics, there is no generally accepted idea of the typology of political discourse. T. V. Shmeleva identifies three types of genres of political discourse: genres of presenting decisions to society, genres of discussing decisions and genres of public mass actions [3, p. 55]. N. N. Kokhtev includes various types of communication in the concept of political discourse, such as as diplomatic, political, military-patriotic, rally, agitator, parliamentary speeches, reporting reports and others [4, p. 411].

Many Russian researchers emphasize that political discourse functions exclusively in the field of politics — it is formed in the conditions of the activity of political institutions, the implementation of political acts. Political discourse is the discourse of politicians formed in an institutional setting (debates in parliament, discussions in the government, party congresses, speeches of politicians, etc.) [5, p. 128]. However, some scientists, for example, P. B. Parshin, doubt the existence of a unique phenomenon of political discourse, arguing that the linguistic features of this discourse are difficult to identify and they largely correspond to idioethnic ("national") P. B. Parshin suggests using the concept of idiopolitical discourse, which reflects the specifics of what politicians are talking about, to whom and by what means [6, p. 72].

Thus, the issues of the construction of political discourse in China and its typology in Russian linguistics seem relevant, requiring further study and discussion. The study of the basic concepts of political discourse in the Russian and Chinese media is important for understanding the influence of media on public opinion and political activity in these countries, as well as for revealing the features of ideological and communication strategies in these states.

The difference in approaches to understanding political discourse by Russian and Chinese scientists is due to the difference in research interests and scientific traditions, as well as the socio-cultural characteristics of each country. However, some common trends and similarities can be found in them.

1. Both Russian and Chinese scientists are actively studying political texts, the content of speeches and the peculiarities of communication of political figures in order to understand political processes, ideology and the specifics of the impact of political actions on society.

2. Scientists in Russia and China attach great importance to language and rhetoric in political discourse, as they are key means of forming public opinion and beliefs.

3. Scientists from both countries are engaged in the study of political ideology and its influence on the formation of political discourse, as well as on the behavior of political actors.

Along with these similarities, there are a number of differences in the interpretation of political discourse and its role in the process of public communication.

1. Russian and Chinese scientists apply different theoretical approaches to the study of political discourse. Russian researchers are more likely to resort to Western theories and methods, while Chinese experts tend to use their own approaches and traditions.

2. The political context in Russia and China differs significantly, and this may affect the priorities and directions of the study of political discourse. For example, Russian scientists are more likely to focus on the study of the Russian political system and internal political processes, while Chinese scientists are more focused on the study of Chinese ideology and foreign policy.

3. In Russia and China, there is a different degree of access to some sources of information or political data, which affects the capabilities of researchers and the content of their work.

Thus, the research approaches of Russian and Chinese scientists to political discourse have their own peculiarities, but their scientific activities may coincide in certain general topics, such as the study of the role of language, political ideology and the impact of communication on society.

Key concepts of political discourse

in modern printed publications of Russia and China

In order to determine the most important concepts of the political discourse of the Russian and Chinese mass media, modern leading political publications of the two countries were analyzed in this work. Among Russian publications, due to their popularity and the degree of trust of the expert community and the general readership, the most interesting are "Economy and Life", "Kommersant", "Nezavisimaya Gazeta", "Vedomosti" and "Rossiyskaya Gazeta". In China, such publications include People's Daily, Global Times, China Daily, Xinhua and the South China Morning Post.

Analysis of the data obtained through the national corpus of the Russian language [7] showed that the central concepts of Russian political discourse are the following:

Putinism. This concept describes the political system and leadership style associated with the very personality of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, who has held this post since 2000. The Putinism lexeme focuses on such semantic components as "strong personal leadership" and "orientation to stability". For the first time this word appeared in the national corpus of the Russian language in 2000, and from 2018 to 2023 the frequency of its use has steadily increased. Thus, over the past 20 years, it has been found in various publications of the media mentioned above 49 times.

Medvedev's modernization. This concept refers to the efforts initiated by former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to modernize the Russian economy and society. For the first time this phrase appeared in 2010, and its popularity has tripled over the past decade.

"Crimea is ours." This concept began to appear more and more often in the media after the reunification of Crimea with Russia in 2014. It reflects the political and public discussions around this event, as well as the national position on this issue. However, for the first time this phrase appeared back in 1997, and at the moment it has been found in publications of leading Russian print media 193 times. Of these, it was most often used by journalists in 2016 (49 times).

Sanctions. Russia has faced an unprecedented amount of international sanctions from the countries of the collective West and associated international organizations in response to the referendum and the subsequent annexation of Crimea, as well as the launch of a special military operation in the Donbas. The frequency of use of this term is the highest. For the entire XX century, this word was mentioned 845 times, but it reached the greatest number of mentions in the media we studied in 2014 (107 times).

According to the statistics of the national corpus of the Chinese language [8], among Chinese media texts, the following key concepts of political discourse have become:

Communism with Chinese characteristics ()). This concept describes a special model of socialism applied in China under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

Zhongguomeng ()). This term can be translated as "the Chinese dream"; it became popular after Chinese leader Xi Jinping began to actively use it in his speeches. This concept indicates the desire of the nation to strengthen, prosperity and revival.

"One country, two systems". This concept reflects the political idea that was applied in Hong Kong and Macau after their return to China. This concept provides for the preservation of the capitalist and political features of these regions for a certain period of time after returning to the jurisdiction of China.

The frequency of occurrence of the three listed concepts of political discourse in the national corpus of the Chinese language among the publications selected in the framework of this study of printed publications over the past two decades is 31,133, 12,582 and 16,668 times, respectively.

The political discourse of Russia and China has some elements of similarity, but also demonstrates significant differences due to the unique political systems, cultural characteristics and historical context of each country.

The similarities include the following:

1. The influence of the ruling party. In both Russia and China, political discourse largely depends on the dominant political party. In Russia it is United Russia, and in China it is the Communist Party of China (CPC). Both parties strive to form and maintain their political discourse reflecting their ideological line and goals.

2. Control over information. In both States, governments actively control the media and Internet content, which allows them to control the dissemination of certain political messages and maintain the desired discourse.

3. The power of leadership. The media of both countries put emphasis on the power of political leadership. The President of Russia and the General Secretary of the CPC in China have considerable power and influence in shaping political discourse.

Among the obvious differences , the following should be highlighted:

1. The type of political structure. The main difference between Russia and China lies in the political systems. Russia is a presidential republic, and China is a socialist republic with the Communist Party at its head. This affects the structure of political discourse and its goals.

2. Ideological foundations. China is dominated by the ideology of Marxism-Leninism and socialism with Chinese characteristics, which defines the basic principles and values of political discourse. In Russia, political ideology is less pronounced and often focuses on supporting the ruling party.

3. Cultural differences. Russia and China have different cultural traditions and values, which are reflected in their political discourse. For example, in Chinese discourse, attention is more often paid to collectivism and national unity, while in Russian discourse historical traditions are emphasized and Russia's role in the world is emphasized.

4. Interaction with the international community. China and Russia interact with the international community in different ways, which is reflected in their political discourse. China is actively promoting initiatives such as "One Belt, One Road" and "community of the common destiny of mankind", while Russia is more focused on protecting its interests and national sovereignty, as well as the idea of a multipolar world.

Thus, along with the presence of common features, the political discourse in Russia and China has significant differences due to the unique political, cultural and historical features of the two countries.

Conclusion

The conducted research allowed us to come to the following conclusions:

1. The political discourse of the Russian and Chinese media has unique national characteristics and characteristics reflecting the political system and ideology of each country.

2. In the Russian media there are such concepts as "Putinism", "Medvedev's modernization" and "Our Crimea", which embody important political events and characterize the leaders of the country.

3. In the Chinese media, the concepts of "communism with Chinese characteristics", "Zhongguomeng" and "one country, two systems" are popular, which reflect the peculiarities of the Chinese political system and ideology.

4. The political discourse of both countries is characterized by the influence of ruling political parties, such as United Russia and the Communist Party of China (CPC), which form and maintain dominant political messages.

5. In both States, political discourse is actively controlled by the state, which contributes to the management of information and the formation of the desired image of the state both within the country and in the international arena.

6. Cultural differences affect the emphasis in political discourse: in China, more attention is paid to national values and ideas, while in Russia the importance of historical tradition is often emphasized, but at the same time the need to modernize individual state structures and public institutions.

7. Political discourses in both countries tend to influence public opinion and support for political leaders and parties.

8. Researchers from both countries focus on various aspects of political discourse, but common themes for them are the role of language, ideology and communication in political and public life.

9. Understanding the basic concepts of political discourse in the Russian and Chinese media makes it possible to better understand the political dynamics and processes in these countries, as well as their impact on the world community.

References
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Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

Linguistics of the last decade has been actively focused on the study of various types and types of discourse, and political is no exception. As noted at the beginning of the reviewed article, "political discourse is an independent component of socio-political interaction, which is defined as a complex linguistic unit. The implementation of political discourse implies the use of not only verbal and non-verbal linguistic means, but also extralinguistic factors related to the axiological nature of communication, as well as cognitive structures that regulate the conditions of existence of the discourse itself." It can be noted that the nature of discursive practice is not so transparent, therefore, the emergence of new research is quite natural and justified. And the author himself means that "the relevance of the topic is due to the importance of understanding and analyzing the media environment in Russia and China. The study makes it possible to understand which key concepts, messages and approaches are used in political discourse in these countries. The data obtained in the course of the study will help to identify the features of information policy, the specifics of the media's influence on public opinion, as well as identify the differences and similarities in the information strategies of Russia and China." The work has a completed appearance, it is properly structured, differentiation into semantic blocks is justified. In my opinion, the author has managed to get closer to the probable objectification of the political discourse of China and Russia. Therefore, the issue has been resolved constructively, conceptually. It is good that we find in the work a proper theoretical assessment of the concept of "discourse". For example, "building a system of political discourse is an essential requirement of the era, which underlies the development of modern China. The country is faced with the need to adapt to changes in the global social structure and the requirements of future economic, social and cultural development. In this context, Zhang Shengli emphasizes that China's modern political discourse is a system dominated by the Communist Party of China (CPC). Therefore, Chinese political discourse reflects the ideological line, guiding principles and policies of the party. In it, each member of the CPC interacts with a political partner and participates in an exchange of views with the reader of printed publications. The main purpose of this discourse is to take care of the interests of the broad strata of society," or "many Russian researchers emphasize that political discourse functions exclusively in the field of politics — it is formed in the context of the activities of political institutions, the implementation of political acts. Political discourse is the discourse of politicians formed in an institutional setting (debates in parliament, discussions in the government, party congresses, speeches by politicians, etc.). However, some scientists, for example, P. B. Parshin, doubt the existence of a unique phenomenon of political discourse, arguing that the linguistic features of this discourse are difficult to identify and they largely correspond to idioethnic ("national") ones P. B. Parshin suggests using the concept of idiopolitical discourse, which reflects the specifics of what politicians are talking about, to whom and by what means." The comparative methodology is quite suitable for deciphering the problem, the comparative factor is maintained throughout the entire essay. The range of analyzed publications, from which the material is also drawn, is also extensive: "in order to determine the most important concepts of the political discourse of the Russian and Chinese media, modern leading political publications of the two countries were analyzed in this work. Among Russian publications, due to their popularity and the degree of trust of the expert community and the general readership, the most interesting are "Economics and Life", "Kommersant", "Nezavisimaya Gazeta", "Vedomosti" and "Rossiyskaya Gazeta". In China, such publications include Peoples Daily, Global Times, China Daily, Xinhua and the South China Morning Post. Thus, the data obtained can be characterized as objective. In the course of the work, there is a clear interest of the researcher in the subject of study and this can clearly be assessed positively. The article concludes with conclusions, although their over-formal form could still be reduced to an expansive construct. However, they do not contradict the main part: for example, "6. Cultural differences affect the accents in political discourse: in China, more attention is paid to national values and ideas, while in Russia the importance of historical tradition is often emphasized, but at the same time the need to modernize individual state structures and public institutions. 7. Political discourses in both countries tend to influence public opinion and support for political leaders and parties. 8. Researchers from both countries focus on various aspects of political discourse, but common themes for them are the role of language, ideology and communication in political and public life," etc. The bibliographic list is relevant, it presents works of various types; all the main analyzed data are open. The material can be useful when studying courses of a linguistic nature. The general requirements of the publication have been taken into account, the purpose of the study has been achieved, the tasks set at the beginning have been solved. I recommend the article "Current concepts of political discourse in modern Russian and Chinese media" for publication in the magazine "Litera".
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