- Volume 17 Issue 1
Produced by Chinese local television stations, Maritime Silk Road is a documentary which adopts ancient Maritime Silk Road as a historical nostalgia to interpret "the Belt and Road Initiative", a contemporary Chinese economic, political, and cultural strategy put forward by Chinese government mainly aiming at the countries of Southeast Asia. The main body of this article has three parts and the first part analyses how the documentary adopts computer-generated imagery (CGI) to create a historical nostalgia about ancient Maritime Silk Road in the period of Imperial China. At the same time, this part also presents a sense of diasporic nostalgia of the overseas Chinese. This historical and diasporic nostalgia is related to Chinese President Xi Jinping's political discourse: "Chinese dream" that propagandises to build a strong China put forward by Xi in 2013. The second part analyses how this historical and diasporic nostalgia legitimates Xi's "Chinese dream" and how it responds to recent territorial dispute when China continuously claims its territorial sovereignty in the South China Sea. In this light, the documentary repeatedly mentions two political rhetoric: "coexistence" (gongcun) and "mutual benefit"(huli gongying) as a practical strategy to deal with the dispute between China and some countries of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In the third section, the concept of "community of common destiny" (mingyun gongtongti) is adopted by the documentary to depict a convenient and effective organization of China and ASEAN, which is framed as an ultimate goal that Chinese government is depicted as the potential leader of this nostalgic community. At the same time, by providing different and even opposite viewpoints, this article discusses three controversial political rhetoric to present how historical and diasporic nostalgia is politicalized and served for Chinese diplomacy and national interest. Overall, this article argues that the documentary creates a glorious ancient Maritime Silk Road, as a sense of nostalgia, to expand China's economic and political influence, to respond to the controversial issues, and to reassert China's leadership as the centre of Asia.
Maritime Silk Road;nostalgia;Chinese dream;coexistence;mutual benefit;community of common destiny
- Ba, Alice D. (2003). China and ASEAN: Renavigating Relations for a 21st-Century Asia. Asian Survey, 43:4, 622-647. https://doi.org/10.1525/as.2003.43.4.622
- Bhattacharyya, A. (2010). China's Strategic Advancement in Southeast Asia: Trade, Diplomacy and Connectivity. Maritime Affairs: Journal of the National Maritim.
- Burgoyne R. (2011). Introduction, Robert Burgoyne (Ed.). The Epic Film in World Culture. New York; London: Routledge.
- Callahan, W. (2016). China's "Asia Dream". Asian Journal of Comparative Politics, 1(3), 226-243. https://doi.org/10.1177/2057891116647806
- Callahan, William A. (2016). China's ''Asia Dream'': The Belt Road Initiative and the New Regional Order. Asian Journal of Comparative Politics, 1(3), 1-18.
- China's Maritime Silk Road CNA Insider. (2016). In YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaawRY8qLNo
- Chinese Dream. (n.d.). In Wikipedia online. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Dream
- Chinese government. (2015). Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. Retrieved from National Development and Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved from http://en.ndrc.gov.cn/newsrelease/201503/t20150330_669367.html
- Computer-generated imagery (CGI) (n.d.). In Wikipedia online. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer-generated_imagery
- Dadabaev, T. (2018). "Silk Road" as Foreign Policy Discourse: The Construction of Chinese, Japanese and Korean Engagement Strategies in Central Asia. Journal of Eurasian Studies, 9(1), 30-41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euras.2017.12.003
- Davis, F. (1979). Yearning for Yesterday: A Sociology of Nostalgia. New York: Free Press; London: Collier Macmillan.
- Delanty, G. (2013). Community. London: Taylor and Francis.
- Fallon, T. (2015). The New Silk Road: Xi Jinping's Grand Strategy for Eurasia, American Foreign Policy Interests, 37, 140-7. https://doi.org/10.1080/10803920.2015.1056682
- Foreign & Commonwealth Office. (2014). 'One China'? Beijing and its Diaspora-Opportunities, Responsibilities and Challenges. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/one-china-beijing-and-its-diaspora-opportunities-responsibilities-and-challenges
- Geoffrey, T. (2016). Dominion, Trade and the Maritime Silk Road: A Review of the Issues. Soundings Sea Power Centre-Australia, 9, 1-10.
- Hamchi, M. (2017). The Political Economy of China-Arab Relations: Challenges and Opportunities. Contemporary Arab Affairs, 10(4), 577-595. https://doi.org/10.1080/17550912.2017.1402481
- Hemmings, R. (2008). Modern Nostalgia: Siegfried Sassoon, Trauma, and the Second World War. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP.
- Kuehn, J & Louie, K & Pomfret, David M. (2013). China Rising: A View and Review of China's Diasporas since the 1980s, Julia Kuehn & Kam Louie & David M. Pomfret. Diasporic Chineseness after the Rise of China: Communities and Cultural Production (pp.1-16). Vancouver: UBC Press.
- Len, C. (2015). China's 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, Energy Security and SLOC Access. Maritime Affairs, 11(1). 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/09733159.2015.1025535
- Li, M. (2009). Soft Power: Nurture Not Nature. In Li Mingjiang (Ed.). Soft Power: China's Emerging Strategy in International Politics (pp.1-18). Lanham; Plymouth: Lexington Books.
- Li, F. (2018). The Role of Islam in the Development of the "Belt and Road" Initiative. Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, 12(1), 35-45. https://doi.org/10.1080/25765949.2018.1439617
- Marchegiani, C & Phau I. (2010). Away from "Unified Nostalgia": Conceptual Differences of Personal and Historical Nostalgia Appeals in Advertising. Journal of Promotion Management, 16(1-2), 80-95 https://doi.org/10.1080/10496490903572991
- New Normal. (n.d.). In Wikipedia online. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Normal_(business)
- Peerenboom, Randall. (2007). China Modernizes: Threat to the West or Model for the Rest? Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
- Shen, S. (2015). Special Issue: New Silk Road Project. East Asia, 1, 1-5.
- Sigley, G. (2016). From Socialism to Social Work: Social Workers, Professionalism, and Community Governance in Contemporary Urban China. David Bray & Elaine Jeffreys (Eds.). New Mentalities of Government in China (pp.97-117). Abingdon: Routledge.
- State Administration of Foreign Exchange (2015). The Press Conference of 2015 Chinese Foreign Direct investment statistical bulletin. Retrieved from http://www.safe.gov.cn/wps/portal/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gPZxdnX293QwMLE09nA09Pr0BXLy8PQyNPI_2CbEdFAKLWUno!/?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/wps/wcm/connect/safe_web_store/safe_web/whxw/sjjd/node_news_sjjd_store/c5ec3b004e54094195cedd628f71f4b0.
- Stuart-Fox, M. (2004). Southeast Asia and China: The Role of History and Culture in Shaping Future Relations. Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs, 26(1), 116-139.
- Tannock, S. (1995). Nostalgia Critique. Cultural Studies, 9(3), 455-8.
- The May 1998 riots of Indonesia. (n.d.). In Wikipedia online. Retrieved from https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%BB%91%E8%89%B2%E4%BA%94%E6%9C%88%E6%9A%B4%E5%8A%A8.
- Wang, Y. (2016). Offensive for Defensive: The Belt and Road Initiative and China's New Grand Strategy, The Pacific Review, 29(3), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1080/09512748.2016.1141856
- Wijaya, T. (2016). Can overseas Chinese Build China's One Belt, One Road? In East Asia Forum. Retrieved from http://www.eastasiaforum.org/?p=50783.
- Womack, B. (2012). Asymmetry and China's Tributary System. Chinese Journal Of International Politics, 5(1), 37-54. https://doi.org/10.1093/cjip/pos003
- Xi, J. (2013a). President Xi Jinping Delivers Important Speech and Proposes to Build a Silk Road Economic Belt with Central Asian Countries. Retrieved from http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/topics_665678/xjpfwzysiesgjtfhshzzfh_665686/t1076334.shtml.
- Xi, J. (2013b). Speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Indonesian Parliament. Retrieved from http://www.asean-china-center.org/english/2013-10/03/c_133062675.htm.
- Xi, J. (2014). General Secretary Xi Jinping: A Reader of a Series of Important Speeches. Beijing: Xuexi.
- Xi, J. (2017). Xi Jinping's opening speech at the International Cooperation Summit roundtable discussion of "One Belt, One Road". Retrieved from http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2017-05/15/c_1120976082.htm.
- Yow, C. (2016). The Chinese Diaspora in China-Malaysia Relations: Dynamics of and Changes in Multiple Transnational 'Scapes'. Journal of Contemporary China, 25(102), 836-850. https://doi.org/10.1080/10670564.2016.1184896
- Zand, B. (2016). The Maritime Silk RoadChina's High Seas Ambitions. Retrieved from http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/china-increasing-overseas-ambitions-with-maritime-silk-road-a-1110735.html.
- Zhang, W. (2016). Seven Episodes Documentary Maritime Silk Road Is Coming. Documentary New. Retrieved from http://www.docuchina.tv/show_news.aspx?News_Id=188&CateId=7&order=215&ParentId=5.