Discourse-analytic research on international trade disputes : taking Sino-European trade disputes of solar panel imports as an example

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Discourse-analytic research on international trade disputes : taking Sino-European trade disputes of solar panel imports as an example


Author: Wang, Shuting
Title: Discourse-analytic research on international trade disputes : taking Sino-European trade disputes of solar panel imports as an example
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2014
Subject: Discourse analysis -- Political aspects -- China
Discourse analysis -- Political aspects -- European Union countries
Communication in politics
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: 84 pages
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2775909
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7694
Abstract: With the soar of trade volume in the last decade, however, China has suffered various trade complaints and economic sanctions. The main focus of academic research on dealing with international trade disputes is on the economic and political aspects while the role of discourse has not been paid much attention to. Up until now, only a few research related to discourse in international trade disputes focuses on the characteristics of international trade disputes or address the possible positive or negative effect of relevant argumentative discourse in the occurrence, intensification, continuation of trade conflicts. The research, nevertheless, is considered not practical since it does not carry out specific case studies or sheds little light on the identification of different stages of argumentation and different strategies in manipulating the discourse. In line with the research aim and questions, this dissertation, taking the Sino-EU trade conflict on solar panels as an example, selects two types of discourse which initiated, continued and intensified the trade disputes as the data public announcements released by both China and EU governments as well as public declarations of enterprise associations in China and European Union countries, compares the structures of the four public announcements, including the format and contents of the discourse, identifies the stages in the public declarations and analyzes the argumentative strategies from the perspectives of the selection made from the 'topical potential', the adaptation to the 'audience demand' and the exploitation of 'presentational devices'. As is revealed from the results and discussion, for official announcements, compared with EU Commission{174}s files, Chinese official documents lack specific descriptions of the evidence on the basis of certain laws and regulations to demonstrate the validity and legitimacy of investigations; for declarations of enterprise associations between China and European Union, Chinese declaration is better organized in structure according to the ideal four stages in argumentative discourse, however, deficient in providing statistics and real data. Also, Chinese declaration is comparatively weaker in the skillful use of strategic maneuvering from the perspectives of selecting from the topical potential, appealing to audience demand and exploiting presentational devices. And the major innovation of this research is that it explores a feasible research framework by analyzing two critical types of discourse and gives reasonable suggestions for the improvement in manipulating the discourse in international trade conflicts.

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