China: What does Propaganda mean for an Economic Superpower?
When: Tue 2 Jul 2013, 18.30-20.00
Where: Conference Centre, British Library
Price: £7.50 / £5 concessions
A popular notion of Chinese propaganda is of Mao-era mass campaigns enabling the state to communicate with a largely rural and illiterate population. A country viewed from the West as secretive has transformed into an economic powerhouse as state control coexists with economic diplomacy. Writer and broadcaster Isabel Hilton is joined by Professors Rana Mitter and Stephen Tsang, and author and journalist Xinran, to explore the history and future of Chinese state communication, the difference between Chinese and Western propaganda and the connections between China's desire to create a new image of itself as a cultural power and the continuing insistence on control at home.
Isabel Hilton (Chair) is a writer, broadcaster, founder and editor of www.chinadialogue.net, an innovative, fully bilingual Chinese English website devoted to building a shared approach on climate change and environmental issues with China. Based in London, with offices in Beijing, Delhi and San Francisco, chinadialogue launched in 2006 and is now recognised as a unique, independent source of information on environmental and climate issues, widely read in China, South Asia and in more than 200 countries around the world. In 2008, she went on to found www.thethirdpole.net, which aims to build transboundary understanding and cooperation in the watershed of the Himalaya.
Rana Mitter is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China; Fellow of St Cross College,University of Oxford. He is author of Modern China: A Very Short Introduction, award- winning A Bitter Revolution: China’s struggle with the modern world and The Manchurian Myth: Nationalism, resistance and collaboration in modern China. In 2004 he received the Philip Leverhulme Prize in History, followed by the Leverhulme Research Leadership Award: “China's War with Japan” in 2007. He is also one of the regular presenters of Night Waves, BBC Radio 3’s arts and magazine programme
Stephen Tsang is Professor of Contemporary Chinese Studies and Director of the China Policy Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham and an Emeritus Fellow of St Antony's College. He is author of five books with numerous papers he has written being featured in international journals as well as newspapers and magazines across the world from The New Statesman to China Daily. He is a contributing columnist for the Guardian and a frequent commentator on British and European television and radio, particularly for the BBC.
Xinran is a journalist, broadcaster and writer. Born in Beijing, she was a successful journalist and radio presenter in China. In 1997 she moved to London where she began work on her seminal book about Chinese women: The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices, which has been translated into over thirty languages. A collection of her columns for the Guardian was published as What the Chinese Don’t Eat in 2006. She lives in London but travels regularly to China. Her charity, The Mothers' Bridge of Love (www.motherbridge.org), was founded to help disadvantaged Chinese children and to build a bridge of understanding between the West and China.