Will China be next?

The Economist - October 1998

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1. Content
i. Symbols of significance
A Chinese National Flag, a boat and a great maelstrom.

ii. Area(s) in society that the symbols belong to
The symbols belong to the area of politics and commerce. Since the boat’s sail is mage of the Chinese national falg, so it also belongs to the area of politics; while the great maelstrom, it is often related to crisis or danger, and here it is used to symbolize the financial crisis, so it belongs to the area of commerce, since it suggests whether China will be another nation that will be engulfed by Asian financial crisis.

iii. Quantitative assessment
3 red flags, 1 boat, 1 maelstrom

2. Communication
i. Image/symbol(s) used to symbolize China
The big boat with the Chinese national flag sail is used to symbolize China.

ii. Key connotations and denotations
The small boat with 3 red flags is sailing whereas the maelstrom is in front of it and it seems that the small boat will be engulfed by the maelstrom which represents Asian financial crisis starting from 1997.

iii. Interpretations of the key symbols, with focus on Chinese culture
The small boat with 3 red flags is used to symbolize China, and it is sailing on the edge of the great maelstrom, implying that China is going to involved in the great danger.
Starting from July 1997, Asian financial crisis gripped much of Asia and China was not involved. From the cover, the small boat with red flags representing China is the last boat sailing around the maelstrom and therefore it is a prediction of the westerners that China might be the next nation be engulfed by the storm.

iv. Power relations in the image
Unequal power relations shown on the cover.

v. Kind of communication

vi . Nature of relation between “China” and "others"
No apparent power relation shown on the cover.

3. Additional comments
i. Images/colors, etc
the small boat and it seems that it will definitely engulf the small boat. The cover takes the blue sea as background and it means that Asian financial crisis is spread the large area of Asia. Chinese economy is in danger.

ii. Group of images

iii. Comment about supporting image

iv. Comments about heading

4. Rating of cover image
Not open to dialogue,
as it is in a crisis situation where communication is almost impossible.

5. Other 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.