FAH-DENG Guest Lecture: “A Cultural Comparison of Defense Discourses” by Prof. Shi Xu, School of International Studies, Zhejiang, China


9 Dec 2015





China’s defense white papers have routinely been dismissed as opaque and untrustworthy by Western governments, military, media as well as academics. The present research takes a cultural discourse perspective and compares China’s 2015 White Paper on its military strategy with the counterpart of the US published in the same year. The study revolves round two broad questions: 1) in what ways China’s military strategy is different from that of America? 2) what kind of military strategic posture emerges out of such defense discourses? It is argued that because China’s military strategy discourse is fundamentally different from that of the US, the latter must take the former seriously, and that because the former is inclusive and defensive whereas the latter contains moral flaws and logical errors, the two militaries need to start comprehensive, systematic and detailed dialogue and debate on defense strategies. In conclusion, implications for innovating national and international military strategy discourses are drawn.

Keywords: military strategy, discourse, culture, transparency, ways of thinking, strategic posture



Shi-xu is Changjiang Distinguished Professor, Director of the Centre for Discourse & Cultural Studies, Hangzhou Normal University, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Discourse Studies, Zhejiang University, and Distinguished Professor of the National University of Defense Technology, China. He is founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Multicultural Discourses (Routledge) and General Editor of Cultural Discourse Studies Series (Routledge). His books in English include: Cultural Representations, A Cultural Approach to Discourse, Read the Cultural Other (lead editor), Discourse as Cultural Struggle (editor), Discourse and Culture, Chinese Discourse Studies, and Discourses of the Developing World.


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