Chinese Public Sentiments about Italy during the Sanmen Bay Affair in the Pages of the Shenbao

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Abstract

This paper introduces which was the public sentiment and opinion of the Chinese journalists of the Shenbao in a very relevant period of the history of the relations between Italy and China. We know that China had had a very high opinion of Italy thanks to the magnificent portrait of ancient Italian society, art and culture made by the Jesuit missionaries. But in the selected historical moment, there was a strong change in the way Chinese people felt about the Italian presence in China. Apart from some previous failures of the Italian diplomatic action in China, the Sanmen Bay affairs represents the climax of the inability of Italian diplomacy, so that Chinese people were clearly aware of this difference as demonstrated by the pages of the Shenbao. The debate about the Sanmen Bay affair on the Shenbao can be located between the 9th of March of 1899 and the 24th of March of 1900, dates of the first and last article on this topic within the selected period of investigation, which goes from 1872 to 1900. The contrastive reconstruction of the public opinion about the Italian conduct shows how delicate could be the sentiment of a population toward a foreign country and how it is easy to compromise a traditional image built after centuries of cultural interaction. At the same time, the power of press contributed even more quickly to spread the words of the opinion of small group of people to a wider audience and the entire country.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)117-144
Numero di pagine28
RivistaINTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION OF CHINESE CULTURE
Volume3
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016

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