British Journal of Chinese Studies

dragon mural beijing 2018 copyright Gerda Wielander
Vol 10 (2020)

A War of Words: Making Sense of Political Claims in China and the United States during the Coronavirus 2019 Pandemic

Gareth Davey
Webster University, Thailand
Published July 7, 2020
How to Cite
Davey, G. (2020). A War of Words. British Journal of Chinese Studies, 10.


This position paper stakes out a potential contribution from Chinese Studies for making sense of political claims about accountability for Covid-19, conspiracy theories, cover-ups, misinformation, public health responses, and vulnerabilities in societies. The broader picture is much more complex than implied in media coverage and official state sources which typically simplify and dramatise the claims with disregard for evidence or comparison of competing perspectives. By drawing on the discipline’s strengths in analysing contemporary China and its internal and external dynamics, Chinese studies can assist in critically examining the claims and their interpretive complexities, as well as the processes through which they have been conceptualised and have come to public attention, an explanatory model with considerable leverage for encouraging more meaningful dialogue.

  • China-U.S. relations,
  • international relations,
  • political claims,
  • Covid-19
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