China and COVID-19: Assessing a State’s Image Repair Strategies in a Global Crisis
On 31 December 2019, China reported the emergence of a cluster of pneumonia of unknown cause in the city of Wuhan in the province of Hubei. As the novel disease turned into a global pandemic, China had to face a serious damage to its portrayed image of a responsible global power. Combining Benoit’s Image Repair Theory (IRT) with a contextual framework singling out cultural, societal and political variables that influence Chinese Communication Strategies (CCSs), the article pioneers the analysis of strategies adopted to respond to public image’s threats by adding an explicative nuance to their selection and reception.
Keywords: Chinese communication strategies • Crisis management • China • Diplomacy • COVID-19 • Image repair