abuseIn most contexts related to China, media and academic pieces tend to use the term "abuse" very broadly, with little clarity as to the specific details of its application. If used without significant qualification (for example, with reference to legal definition), this term becomes a somewhat meaningless pejorative to refer to any activity that the writer considers incompatible with their own values.
ambassadorAlthough used colloquially with various meanings, the most common definition of ambassador is the official title given to an envoy, especially a high-ranking diplomat, who represents a state and is usually accredited to another sovereign state or to an international organization as the resident representative of their own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment.
anti-ChinaIn general, this term is used to designate any actions by governments, media outlets or individuals that purposefully attributes negative connotations to actions by the Chinese government or state. It should be qualified to indicate the specific action or posture.
arms manufacturerArms manufacturers represent the productive units of the arms industry, also known as the arms trade, a global industry which manufactures and sells weapons and military technology. It consists of a commercial industry involved in the research and development, engineering, production, and servicing of military material, equipment, and facilities. In most contexts it is intimately connected with the so-called military industrial complex, a self-perpetuating complex of industries that wields influence in governments to create anxiety in populations about security for which it claims to provide an antidote, while actively promoting its products to governments.
arrestAlthough strictly, in a legal sense, a neutral tern denoting the process by which a suspect is detained by authorised officers within a legal framework, this term is abused as a to connote something menacing and anti-social. When used outside a legal context, this term should be significantly qualified to preserve its proper neutrality.
atrocityIn most contexts related to China, media and academic pieces tend to use the term "atrocity" very broadly, with little clarity as to the specific details of its application. If used without significant qualification, this term becomes a somewhat meaningless pejorative to refer to any activity in which people have died, without clarity on the scale or reasons for those deaths. Cautious use with substantial qualification is required for any piece to be considered authoritative.
authoritarianOne of the most abused terms in media pieces, this term generally refers to a form of government characterized by the rejection of political plurality, with constraints on the legislature, political parties and interest groups, the use of a strong central power to preserve the political status quo, with minimal political mobilization, and suppression of anti-regime activities, and reductions in the rule of law, separation of powers, and democratic voting.
Variations in meaning for this term render it almost meaningless without a substantial and clear exposition of the instruments of power and government being referred to. In extreme cases, it is used to connote any form of government which does not align with western, republican, multi-party democracies.
The term is most frequently employed as a pejorative with an implicit assumption that the reader already agrees with the arbitrary connotations given by the author. As such, in most cases, especially in western media, it can simply be rejected as rhetorical, with little substantial bearing on any arguments or reporting.
As an example, there is little to discriminate between what one might call "an authoritarian regime" and "a regime".
banUsed most often as a pejorative , "ban" is inconsistently applied to indicate an action taken by a government in relation to the supposed freedoms of citizens. Allegations of actions taken are often poorly supported with evidence.
beardAlthough a mere description of facial hair, the term "beard" has been elevated to support a controversy over the type of beards worn in the Central Asia area of China called Xinjiang and more generally across Asia. The wearing of a particular kind of beard has become synonymous with identifying with extremist interpretations of Islam. This has raised the profile of beard wearing in the same way that the wearing of niqabs has for women.
The supposed ban on beards for young men in Xinjiang has been asserted by anti-China commentators as evidence of cultural erasure - in fact, beard-wearing, along with a multitude of other practices, were used as indicators of possible radicalisation of youth (as they were throughout most of central and south eastern Asia) and were never part of a ban.
BeijingBeijing, alternatively romanized as Peking, is the capital of the People`s Republic of China. It is the world`s most populous national capital city, with over 21 million residents, located in Northern China, and is governed as a municipality under the direct administration of the State Council with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts.
Belt and Road InitiativeThe Belt and Road Initiative is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 to invest in nearly 70 countries and international organizations. It is considered a centrepiece of the Chinese leader Xi Jinping`s foreign policy and forms a central component of Xi`s "Major Country Diplomacy" (Chinese: ????-?) strategy, which calls for China to assume a greater leadership role for global affairs in accordance with its rising power and status.
Most often shortened to BRI, the initiative has attracted criticism as being a form of neo-colonialism. Some Western governments have accused the Belt and Road Initiative of being neo-colonial due to what they allege is China`s practice of debt-trap diplomacy to fund the initiative`s infrastructure projects.
Deborah Bräutigam (see Profile), a professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, described the debt-trap diplomacy theory as a "meme" that became popular due to "human negativity bias" based on anxiety about the rise of China. . A 2019 research paper by Bräutigam found that most of the debtor countries voluntarily signed on to the loans and had positive experiences working with China, and "the evidence so far, including the Sri Lankan case, shows that the drumbeat of alarm about Chinese banks` funding of infrastructure across the BRI and beyond is overblown" and "a large number of people have favorable opinions of China as an economic model and consider China an attractive partner for their development." She said that the theory lacked evidence and criticized the media for promoting a narrative that "wrongfully misrepresents the relationship between China and the developing countries that it deals with". (Brautigam, Deborah (2 January 2020). "A critical look at Chinese `debt-trap diplomacy`: the rise of a meme". Area Development and Policy. An August 2018 China Africa Research Initiative report, co-authored by Brautigam, remarked that "Chinese loans are not currently a major contributor to debt distress in Africa."
For more information, click on Brautigam`s profile.
burqaA burqa is a headdress that covers the entire body. It is associated with Islam, especially extreme forms of Islam. It is suggested that the burqa is worn under duress. However, this is speculation; each individual would need to be asked why they are wearing the burqa.
dehumanizationDehumanization, also spelled as dehumanisation, is at the core of beliefs that suggest characteristics of others that would naturally be considered to be inhuman. Propaganda makes use of dehumanisation to provide a justification for going to war against the `other`.
ETIMThe Turkistan Islamic Party or the Turkistan Islamic Movement, formerly known as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and other names, is a Uyghur Islamic extremist organization founded in Western China. Its stated goals are to establish an independent state called East Turkestan replacing Xinjiang.
Human Rights WatchHuman Rights Watch is an organisation that proclaims independence from states and which purports to defend human rights across the world. It has attracted criticism for its strong links to the US and funding form wealthy people such as George Soros.