Competing discursive constructions of China’s smog in Chinese and Anglo-American English-language newspapers: A corpus-assisted discourse study

Ming Liu, Chaoyuan Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a corpus-assisted discourse study of the representations of China’s smog in one Chinese (i.e. China Daily) and three Anglo-American (i.e. The New York Times, The Times and The Guardian) English-language newspapers from 2011 to 2014. The findings suggest that they converge in representing China’s smog as a kind of severe air pollution that has some consequences on residents in China and poses a problem that the government must tackle. However, the Chinese English-language newspaper prefers to represent it as a kind of weather phenomenon without serious impact on public health and to construct a positive and responsible image of the Chinese central government. The Anglo-American English-language newspapers are inclined to dramatize it as a disaster with a huge health impact, and construct a negative image of the Chinese government with a view to pressurizing it to take responsibility in the context of climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-403
Number of pages18
JournalDiscourse and Communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Air pollution
  • corpus-assisted discourse study
  • critical discourse analysis
  • environmental communication
  • media discourse
  • smog

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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