China’s Political Discourse May 2022: Stabilizing the Economic “Big Board”
By China Media Project
In May 2022, a video conference on boosting the economy attended by more than 170,000 officials sent a wave of surprise and concern through Chinese social media. The event prompted widespread speculation in China, and internationally, about the direction of the economy and possible shifts within the top leadership. Commentary pieces quickly appeared in the Party media in an effort to minimize anxieties stemming from the conference.
Media in different regions ultimately made different choices about how to handle the two seemingly contradictory messaging strands – one a more ideologically-driven call for calm, and the other the more pragmatic posture associated with Premier Li Keqiang, the host of the video conference. Below we look more closely at how various media approached these choices.
One key phrase used around the conference in May was a reference to the economic “big board” (大盘), referring in this case the macroeconomy. The Chinese name used to refer in the media to Li’s confe…