China must appear tough for an increasingly nationalistic audience at home and be conciliatory to an international audience wary of China’s assertive foreign and defence policy. Photo: Xinhua

Why China struggles to win friends and make itself heard

  • Beijing has to reconcile the competing needs to appear tough to the Chinese public and conciliatory to an international audience
  • China feels US has long had the advantage in shaping global opinion but it now needs to make itself heard
Topic |   China military

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China must appear tough for an increasingly nationalistic audience at home and be conciliatory to an international audience wary of China’s assertive foreign and defence policy. Photo: Xinhua
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A question-and-answer session with Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe on Sunday was tightly controlled. Photo: AFP

China sends message at Shangri-La Dialogue amid tight media control

  • Defence minister makes strong statements about Taiwan and South China Sea at regional security forum but format is strictly controlled
  • Chinese ‘negotiated very hard’ with organisers to manage Wei Fenghe’s appearance at the event
Topic |   Shangri-La Dialogue

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A question-and-answer session with Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe on Sunday was tightly controlled. Photo: AFP
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