“First Lady Diplomacy” and the construction of national image
- 42 Downloads
This paper compares the Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan and her American counterpart Michelle Obama with respect to their public diplomatic effects on building a favourable national image. An analysis of the global media’s reporting frames of their diplomatic activities shows that both first ladies contribute to create an overall favourable national image. Although their contribution is greatly limited to the dimensions of national culture and citizenship, where First Lady Diplomacy usually plays a role, they did make several breakthroughs in the political areas, such as improving bilateral relations. Michelle Obama’s solo visit to China attracted more attention and presented more of a national image but received negative comments regarding political issues such as human rights and freedom of speech; the Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan excelled by winning more favourable attitudes from the targeted countries.
KeywordsFirst Lady Diplomacy China America Country image Media framing
- A First Lady’s Soft, ‘Gentle’ Diplomacy Goes to Work. China Daily, March 24, 2014.Google Scholar
- Cull, Nicholas J. 2006. Public Diplomacy Before Gullion: The Evolution of a Phrase. http://uscpublicdiplomacy.org/blog/public-diplomacy-gullion-evolution-phrase.
- David S. Joachim. 2014. Politics Won’t Be on First Lady’s China Itinerary, Aides Say. The New York Times. Google Scholar
- Hastedt, G.P., and A.J. Eksterowicz. 2006. First lady diplomacy: The Foreign Policy Activism of First Lady Clinton. The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations 7: 57–67.Google Scholar
- Perlez, Jane. 2014. In China, an Unofficial First lady Hosts an Official One; On a Good-Will Tour, Michelle Obama Gets Xi Jinping’s Wife as Guide. The New York Times. Google Scholar
- Krissah, T. and Wan, W. 2014. A different kind of first lady interpreting fashion choices. The Washington Post, March 21.Google Scholar
- Zezima, Katie. 2014. Just How Popular was Michelle Obama’s Visit to China? This is Really Michelle Fever in China. The Washington Post.Google Scholar
- Keith, V. E. and Stephanie T. 2012. First Lady International Diplomacy: Performing Gendered Roles on the World Stage. Southern Communication Journal 77(July-August): 239–262.Google Scholar
- Mrs. Sigourney. 1838. Martha Washington. St. Johnsbury (VT) Caledonian, p. 1.Google Scholar
- Yuanping, Qiu. 2010. China’s Peaceful Development and Public Diplomacy. China International Studies 6 (2): 32.Google Scholar
- Rourke, J.T., and M.A. Boyer. 2009. International Politics on the World Stage. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Watson, R.P. 2000. The Presidents’ Wives: Reassessing the First Lady. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
- Stemler, S. 2001. An Overview of Content Analysis. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation 7(17).Google Scholar
- Ting, Shi and David, Tweed. 2014. Xi Outlines ‘Big Country Diplomacy’ Chinese Foreign Policy. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-12-01/xi-says-china-will-keep-pushing-to-alter-asia-security-landscape.
- Zhao, Shengnan and Li, Xiaokun. 2014. China Daily, March 21.Google Scholar