Stay back, China

The Economist - March 1996

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Panel comments

1. Content
i. Symbols of significance

ii. Area(s) in society that the symbols belong to
They belong to the area of politics, since the dragon symbolizes mainland China and it shows on the cover that mainland China is staring at Taiwan island. In this sense, it means the cross-strait relations.

iii. Quantitative assessment
1 dragon,
1 map.

2. Communication
i. Image/symbol(s) used to symbolize China
A dragon is used to symbolize mainland China.

ii. Key connotations and denotations
IOn the cover, the red dragon is staring at the small island in yellow. It means that mainland China is threating Taiwan.

iii. Interpretations of the key symbols, with focus on Chinese culture
Dragon in Chinese culture signifies power, peace and harmony, whereas on this cover, the dragon in red stands for the threat to Taiwan island or even the whole world. In fact, Taiwan is seen as an inseparable part of People's Republic of China. On this cover, mainland China and Taiwan are depicted in two colors-red and yellow, it suggests that two parts are independent. Meanwhile, the powerful dragon in red is staring at the small island, trying to occupy it. This cover illustrates typical western understanding of the cross-strait relations.

iv. Power relations in the image
Unequal power relations.

v. Kind of communication

vi . Nature of relation between “China” and "others"
Hostile, since the dragon on the cover is quite horrifying.

3. Additional comments
i. Images/colors, etc

ii. Group of images

iii. Comment about supporting image

iv. Comments about heading

4. Rating of cover image

5. Additional comments

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Rating categories:
1. Hostile: An image that portrays China as impossible to have a dialogue with.
2. Not open to dialogue: An image that portrays China in a way where it is possible, but not likely, to have a dialogue.
3. Neutral: An image that does not say anything about the possibility for dialogue
4. Open to dialogue: An image that portrays China in a way where there is an openness to dialogue.
5. Very open to dialogue: An image that portrays China in a way where there is an active interest in a dialogue.