The West and China: discourses, agendas and change

Fengyuan Ji*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    In Orientalism (1978) Edward Said linked Western discourse on the Orient to projects of domination, arguing that for over two thousand years ‘the West’ had constructed ‘the East’ as an inferior and essentially unchanging ‘Other’. In this article, I will test his argument against the case of Western discourses on China. I will show that Said’s thesis, in its original form, applies only to some discourses, and that it cannot account either for the variety of discourses in each period or for the ways in which discourses have been transformed from one era to the next. At the same time, I will suggest that Said is right to connect discourses on China with the West’s images of itself, and that his emphasis on power helps us to understand how discourses serve the agendas of the varied groups that promote them.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)325-340
    Number of pages16
    JournalCritical Discourse Studies
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2017


    Dive into the research topics of 'The West and China: discourses, agendas and change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this