Copyright Sociological Research Online, 1999
John Goodwin and Katharine Hills (1999) 'A View From Hong Kong: Chinese Representations of War, Violence and American Imperialism'
Sociological Research Online, vol. 4, no. 2, <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/4/2/goodwin_hills.html>
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Received: 03/06/99 Accepted: 21/06/99 Published: 30/6/99
- In this article we reflect on our experiences in Hong Kong after the bombing by NATO forces of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in May 1999. We focus on the responses to this action contained within Hong Kong's English language press and reflect on the emergent themes. The themes are, Business as Usual in a Global Marketplace and Civilised versus Barbaric: Representations of Good and Evil. On a broad level these themes encapsulate the perceptions that China and Western nations have about each other's society and culture. On a deeper level, through these themes, we reveal the inherent contradictions between the ongoing economic interdependence of China and the West on the one hand, and China's quest for political independence through its reaffirmation of what it is to be Chinese on the other.
- American Imperialism; China; Hong Kong; Kosovo Crisis.; Media; NATO; Par Identity; Sino-West Relations
Statement of President Clinton (May 10, 1999) - I would like to begin by saying a word about the tragic bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. I have already expressed our apology and our condolences to President Jiang and to the Chinese people. And I have reaffirmed my commitment to strengthen our relationship with China. I think it's very important to remember that this was an isolated, tragic event, while the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo, which has led to the killing of thousands of people and the relocation of hundreds of thousands, is a deliberate and systematic crime. Until NATO's simple conditions are met, therefore, the military campaign will continue. But again, I want to say to the Chinese people and to the leaders of China, I apologize; I regret this. But I think it is very important to draw a clear distinction between a tragic mistake and a deliberate act of ethnic cleansing. And the United States will continue to make that distinction. (United States Information Agency, 1998)
Attack 'plotted,' say analysts - A group of Chinese defence specialists said on Sunday that the attack on the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia by NATO was in no way an accident. One member of Military Science concluded that the attack was planned and carefully plotted. That might have been possible if only one bomb had hit the embassy but the fact is that three missiles hit the building from three different angles makes it impossible to label it an accident...US missiles normally have a margin of error of less than 10 metres, but the Chinese embassy is a kilometre away from NATO's claimed target...He concluded that if a target is hit by three missiles simultaneously, then that is exactly the target they were aiming at. (China Daily, 1999, May 11: p. 4)
- The current NATO military action taking place in Kosovo represents just one more event in a long line of military interventions and atrocities in the former Yugoslavia. For many, despite its location in central Europe, the conflict is a distant problem which is not an immediate concern. It is something happening to 'others', and all that the majority of Europeans need to know is that we are part of a world alliance who are trying to relieve suffering. Yet on a recent trip to Hong Kong, the consequences of the war in Kosovo took on an immediate relevance and importance. Indeed, to be in Hong Kong the day after the mistaken bombing by NATO forces of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, in which three people were killed and more than twenty injured, was frustrating but also insightful. Frustrating because we had come to Hong Kong as a stopover on our way to Guangzhou, in Southern China, to establish research links but were unable to travel, on British Consulate advice. It was insightful because of the opportunity provided to comprehend Chinese perceptions of the West through the anti-American, anti-British backlash that the Chinese expressed through the written media. We were left with a clearer understanding of the complexities involved in the responses to the bombing and what this meant in terms of local politics, Sino-Western relations and the attendant rhetoric of war, peace and prosperity.
- With time to spare, we set out to explore the reactions to the bombing in the English language Hong Kong press. The aim of this was to inform and reflect on the way the bombing was reported and to make this available to a much wider audience. Second, we were able to set this reporting against an academic backdrop and interpret the wider implications of these events.
- The analysis of the newspaper presentations highlighted contradictions in the perceptions of each other held by China and the West. In particular these contradictions revolved around the different political and moral positions adopted by China and the West. Two key themes, as presented in the press responses to the bombing, are used to illustrate these tensions. The first is the tension between China's economic interdependence on the one hand and its assertion of political independence on the other. The second tension revolves around moral rights and values (which are subsequently embedded within political positions). Certainly in the West concern and outrage are often expressed in relation to China's human rights record. Yet the depiction of events surrounding the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade turned this relationship on its head with China presented as the defender of peace and NATO as barbaric. It is suggested that both of these representations can be seen in part as attempts to discredit traditional rivals through the use of ongoing to question each other's motives and agendas without ultimately undermining their own interests.
- The rest of the paper is structured as follows. First we provide some brief information on our approach. Second, to set the scene for the discussion, we provide a brief chronology of events through an examination of the media representations of the reaction to NATO's bombing of the Chinese embassy as presented by Hong Kong's three key English Language newspapers between Monday 10 May and Thursday 13 May 1999. Third, based on the examination, we provide a more detailed analysis of the two key themes - Business as Usual In a Global Marketplace and Civilised versus Barbaric: Representations of Good and Evil, which enable us to make sense of the events.
Researching Responses to The Bombing
- The military strike which hit the embassy in Belgrade generated a range of responses both in the broadcast and written media. We chose to concentrate on the written media and examined three newspapers - Hong Kong Standard, South China Morning Post, and China Daily. These represent a continuum in terms of political affiliations and the views they represent. The Hong Kong Standard is independent and adopts a more detached view. The South China Morning Post, on the other hand, was once independent but has now moved more towards a middle ground in that it is now not as overtly critical of Beijing and the mainland government. Finally the China Daily is the mouthpiece of Beijing and the mainland government in Hong Kong and adopts a very strong standpoint based on party lines. Between them the three papers provide data which span aspects of the whole political spectrum.
- By using these papers as our primary source, we readily acknowledge that we may be missing out on further representations of China's response because of our restriction to English language papers. However, we would anticipate that these would add further extremes to the spectrum that English language papers provided and therefore we might actually be immersed in a more middle ground experience of the responses. Indeed, through our analyses of these three papers a number of themes did emerge under which the discussion, debates and the Chinese response can be located. We have chosen for inclusion in this paper those quotations that are most typical of the themes we explore. However, rather than trying to make any hard and fast conclusions what we seek here is a tentative attempt to make sense of and understand events based on non western sources.
Chronology of Media Responses
- On 10 May massive Anti- NATO demonstrations were front-page news with estimates of more than 400 thousand people being involved in the protests throughout China. The front page headlines read 'Crowds clash with police in Guangzhou as leaders back rallies against embassy bombings' (South China Morning Post). Even at this early stage a number of clear strands were emerging. Firstly, the government backing of the protests was readily evident, secondly the personal picture of all elements of society being united in their condemnation was clearly presented, for example "As bricks and blocks of concrete rained on the British Embassy a man and his adolescent son weaved through the crowds carrying a sign that read "We beseech President Jiang [Zemin] to declare war on the United States" (South China Morning Post Monday May 10 1999 p.1). The request to declare war and to settle this 'debt' were taken up strongly in the coming days. There was also evidence that already protests had turned violent. Suggestions that the bombing had not been an error but was in fact "well and elaborately planned" were also portrayed. Other key themes that later developed further were the anti American hegemonism. A man in his 60s, stopped on his way to the American Consulate, reportedly stated "When I was 16, I took part in the Korean War and killed many invaders. I want to let them know we Chinese are heroes and are not afraid of hegemonism" (South China Morning Post, 1999 May 10: p. 2). Many of the themes that emerged more strongly over the coming days were already evident. However, the emphasis at this stage was very much on the protests and protesters themselves.
- By 11 May the focus was still on the broad level outrage at the events that had taken place. However, beyond this, reports were beginning to look at the implications in terms of a set back in Sino-American relations and in particular NATO as a threat to world peace and stability, which China was also portrayed as striving for. Anti western reports and condemnation of NATO's 'gunboat diplomacy' were proliferating. Events were described as barbaric attacks of innocents, criticising NATO's hypocrisy and representing this as an obvious insult to, and attack on, Chinese Sovereignty. Headlines in the China Daily clearly depicted these views "NATO's New Role Threatens World Peace" (p4) "NATO Killing of Innocent Feeds Silent Hypocrisy" (China Daily, 1999 May 11: p. 1)(p4).
- The official interviews with statesmen were accompanied by pictures of those who one might expect to have been least likely to protest such as mothers with children and Taoist monks demonstrating their indignation. Other reports emphasised that the outcry was throughout Asia not just in Mainland China. Officials were reported as emphasising the safety of foreigners within China whilst simultaneously, the Hong Kong Standard issued warnings to Americans and Britons not to travel to Mainland China. The portrayal of the public response at an individual level through comments from people on the street and letters sent to newspapers demanded justice, punishment and revenge, talking in terms of 'blood debts', and 'declaring war' (China Daily). However, at the same time all papers emphasised, to varying degrees that trade was continuing and business unaffected.
- On Wednesday 12 May the continuing theme of business as usual was still evident. Trade would continue (Hong Kong Standard, 1999) and foreigners would be safe. Starting to emerge now were individually issued apologies from foreign owned organisations. Other articles reported the government distancing itself from any unruly protest and praising protesters for keeping the protests peaceful. At the same time comments from protesters still called for repayment of a debt 'an eye for an eye'. Demands for an end to the bombing and outrage at the continuance of the campaign also figured strongly. Sino-Russian relations provided a focus for this discussion and concerns that NATO was sabotaging world peace continued to be vocalised.
- By 13 May the emphasis had shifted somewhat. This was the day after the remains of those killed in the bombing were brought back to China. The focus was very much on reporting the events surrounding this and focusing on the individual level grief for the 'martyrs and heroes' who had died, detailing their heroic efforts whilst working in Belgrade to 'reveal NATO's atrocities'. These symbolic phrases were prevalent throughout all three papers. Although by this stage protests and their visible signs had ebbed, it was suggested that anti US feeling was on the rise. The assurance of business as usual and foreigners being safe that had been made on previous days were re-emphasised accompanied by photos of the US ambassador in Beijing now free to leave the building where he had remained over the previous 4 days.
- By this stage a clear response was emerging portrayed as both an official view and also a view alleged to be that of the people. This was the need to build a strong China. China needed to become strong economically and hence the connection to continued trade. Individual cries were also for China to become strong militarily to be in a position to 'fight back', emphasising the need for internal cohesiveness and a reaffirmation of what it was to be Chinese. All of these moves were further legitimated by the non Chinese voices that, through letters to the press suggested a similar beliefs held by nationals of other countries that NATO had been dishonest.
- In summary, the evolution of the story's emphasis was from a focus on, and official support for, massive public protest against attacks on Chinese sovereignty moving through to an emotion and grief for the 'martyrs' involved and on to a heightened sense of Chinese nationalism. Chinese identity was suggested to be unwavering, strong and a force to be reckoned with by the West in terms of moral rights, strong identity and future economic and political might.
- We now turn to explore in more detail and illustrate the two main themes emerging from this overview.
Business as Usual In a Global Marketplace
...as ideological values recede, nationalist objectives, such as overtaking the most advanced countries, will become more salient...China may insist on acquiring the most sophisticated technology, for example, not because of a hard analysis of the economic costs and benefits of that technology, but because of a desire to catch up with more technologically advanced nations. (Garver 1993: p. 28)
- Despite the condemnations of the NATO attack in the press, and despite the reported setbacks in Sino-US relations, there was evidence from all three newspapers that a picture of 'business as usual' was being presented. This appeared on a number of fronts. First, there was some suggestion that it was perfectly safe for travellers to continue to travel to China. The China Daily, carried an article, shortly after the bombing, in which it was categorically stated that is was safe for visitors to travel to China and that the advice being given by Western governments' was an overreaction.
Vice president Hu Jintao, in a speech on Sunday, laid stress on the protection of foreign diplomatic institutions and personnel, foreign nationals in China and those who come to China to engage in trade, economic, educational and cultural undertakings...On Sunday, the US State Department had erroneously stated that US citizens in China were being harassed and that the operation of US business undertakings was being impaired. (China Daily, 1999 May 11: p.1)
- The reporting in the other two newspapers was slightly different, with more emphasis being placed on the Western governments' travel advice that China was not safe.
US nationals were urged to put off travel to the mainland until tension eases as "conditions remain volatile as a result of the extremely high anti-NATO and anti-American sentiment and the potential exists for further demonstrations and reactions against American citizens and interests", a consulate statement said. (Hong Kong Standard, 1999 May 11: p.1)
- The South China Morning Post carried a similar article. However, the comments in this paper relating to travel had to be set in the context of the information contained in their lead story.
Protesters - making no effort to conceal the missiles intended for the walls and windows of embassies - were waved through police road blocks in batches of 200 or so. Demonstrators followed a route taking in the homes of the British and US ambassadors. "Where are your rocks ?" one policeman was overheard asking a protester who turned up empty-handed. (South China Morning Post, 1999 May 11: p.1)
- Second, whilst simultaneously presenting, describing and outlining the protests against the West and whilst printing the most critical attacks on NATO, the papers did their best to separate the bombing from China's economic relationships with countries outside of Asia. Some of the criticisms of NATO were also seemingly presented in a way that would not throw into doubt the success of any economic measures or developments that involved overseas aid or support.
The "mainstream faction" of the Chinese leadership has at least temporarily, decided to separate diplomatic quarrels with the US from issues of bi-lateral co-operation, particularly business and trade...Moreover barring an unforeseen deterioration of ties over new flashpoints, exchanges in economic area, particularly China's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), would continue, according to schedule. "Beijing has suspended security and human rights dialogues with the United States, but these are hardly a major area of bi-lateral concern..." (South China Morning Post, 1999 May 11: p. 1)
While being interviewed...business people from American-funded enterprises in Guangzhou expressed their sorrow about NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade...They said they understood the anger of the Chinese people, and noted that China's nation-wide protests and demonstrations... had not influenced their regular business activities. (China Daily, 1999 May 13: p.2)
- The fast food chain McDonald's seemed to be singled out for special attention in both the Hong Kong Standard and the South China Morning Post, presumably because it is so identifiably American. In an article reflecting on the calls for a US trade boycott, it was reported
A woman sipping a drink bought at McDonald's said: "If things deteriorate and relations between the two countries do not get better, there could be a boycott of American products, either launched by the Government or the people themselves. But I think it is a slight possibility. There are many good American products". (South China Morning Post, 1999 May 11: p.3)
- In the Hong Kong Standard, McDonald's was used to illustrate that business was indeed carrying on as normal
American businesses have stepped up security as protesters targeted United States missions across China. But most retail outlets remained open despite the widespread hostility...even at the height of the protests, students took breaks at fast-food outlets associated with American culture, including McDonald's...Managers at some operations, including Kentucky Fried Chicken, said that business was actually spurred by the protests. (Hong Kong Standard, 1999 May 11: p.3)
- The same edition of the Hong Kong Standard, on its letters page, carried a letter from the operations manager of McDonald's apologising for the quality of service that a customer had received at one of its branches. The business as usual theme for American fast food outlets continued on May 12.
Attacks by protesters on McDonald's restaurants in Beijing and other parts of the country have also been reported, although a company spokesman in Shanghai denied the chain had suffered any decline in sales. (Hong Kong Standard, 1999 May 12: p.2)
- The bombing may have also provided China with further opportunities to advance economically, and the South China Morning Post, did not hesitate to highlight this fact.
Beijing signalled yesterday that American economic and trade concessions would help repair ties damaged by the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade...Signs of a thaw came as anti-NATO demonstrations decreased to a trickle and the official media broadcast apologies by President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. However Beijing officials were not satisfied...At least one faction in the leadership hoped to convert the moral high ground into bargaining power at the negotiating table of the World Trade Organisation. (South China Morning Post, 1999 May 12: p.1)
Civilised versus Barbaric: Representations of Good and Evil ?
The central aspect of recent Chinese history, as interpreted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the Chinese people's struggle against the 'humiliation' of China by foreign imperialism... (Garver 1993: p 4)
- Alongside the picture of business as usual, another key theme that reoccurred in the reports of events over these few days, was the notion of China as a highly civilised society with great sensitivity for world issues on the one hand and America as Barbaric, cold, and evil on the other. This was focused around the issues of 'right' being on the Chinese side but was couched in religious terms of good and evil. China as the injured party, open, honest, concerned for the lives of all, not just those of a few, concerned for world peace, fighting against injustice and acting as the mouth piece for Asia and the third world, to stand up to the might of an unjust military power.
"The barbaric action by the US-led NATO forces fully reveals their true nature of hegemonism and the hypocrisy of the "human rights" they advocate" (China Daily May, 1999 11: p. 2)
- The embassy bombing provided China a moral high ground from which this position was promulgated. The barbarism of the NATO acts was made explicit through the 'evil sinners' who had 'slain innocents' and had no thought for human life other than the lives of their own. Hypocrisy, deception and dishonesty characterised portrayals of NATO with hidden agendas to be uncovered and motives unveiled and that those with right on their side would do this. Through such depictions the US was promoted as rational and cold blooded whilst the emotional side of China and the Chinese psyche was emphasised.
- This emotional character came across most clearly through the way in which these events were covered at a personal level showing the individual grief and tragedy experienced by relatives and friends of those killed.
Shao's Son Wants to Stop Atrocities - Cao Lei, son of slain journalist Shao Yunhuan, sent a letter to US President Bill Clinton on Sunday, protesting against the atrocities by US-led NATO forces...In the letter delivered on Mother's Day... He urged Clinton to listen seriously to calls for peace from all over the world, stop the bombing, halt the indiscriminate killing of innocent people and prevent repetition of the tragedy that has happened to him (China Daily, 1999 May 11: p. 2)
- Also reported was the extreme grief and horror shown by people who did not have any immediate relationship with those involved.
I was with a group of friends out to enjoy our weekend at a beautiful villa in a northern suburb of Beijing when I learned about the US led-NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. Tears blurred my eyes as I saw that Shao Yunhuan, a colleague at Xinhua News Agency and Guangming Daily's Xu Xinghu and Zhu Ying, a young journalist couple, were killed during the NATO's heaviest yet air attacks on the capital of Yugoslavia. I know none of them in person. But I could not hold back my tears for these compatriots and my fellow journalists...For years the US and other western powers have been lecturing us on human rights and other issues. We have learned earnestly. But the NATO bombing has smashed our rosy impression that the US is a guardian of human rights...From this I see hypocrisy. In the cold-blooded bombing of Yugoslav [sic] and the Chinese Embassy, I see a cold shoulder being given to Yugoslav and Chinese lives. I condemn this hypocrisy. I condemn the US-NATO bombing of Yugoslav [sic] and the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. The US-NATO war criminals must be tried and punished, and they must repay the blood debt they owe us. (China Daily, 1999 May 11: p. 4)
- As though to provide a more legitimate context than individual and national grief and emotion, reports moved beyond the emotional level. China was also reported to have legal right on its side. NATO had broken its own promises and broken international law.
"Chinese legal experts yesterday condemned the NATO missile attack on the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, saying it seriously violated international laws" ...Gao Zongze, president of the All-China Lawyers Association said in a forum organised by the Ministry of Justice, that the association is considering taking civil action on behalf of the Chinese victims of the NATO bombing. "The personal rights of the three dead, more than 20 injured and those others affected by the attacks have been violated, as have their property rights" Gao said. "They have the right to call for the participating counties to be punished as criminals and to demand civil compensation" he added. (China Daily, 1999 May 11: p. 2)
- In this context calls for justice for those killed and punishment of those responsible were also given further legal justification beyond more emotional demands presented as the views of specific individuals. China and the Chinese were calling for the defence of justice, stability and the end of political domination by the US. It was from this platform that concerns over NATO's threat to world peace and stability were voiced.
The convening of the meeting and NATO's military strikes against Yugoslavia once again sent the world the message that NATO is attempting to re-invent its role of a collective defensive regional organisation into an offensive military alliance as the world approaches the 21st Century. This undoubtedly poses a threat to world peace and regional stability. (China Daily, 1999 May 11: p. 4)
...peace-loving people across the world should remain vigilant following the brutal attack on the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia by the US-led NATO....Li said he was "indignant at this barbaric act and intolerable crime. If such things go on, is there any justice, humanity, human rights or global order and tranquillity to speak of?" (China Daily, 1999 Wed 12: p. 2)
- Throughout the whole process the demands on NATO to call a halt to the bombing continued, whilst asking for a formal investigation. Each day reports of innocent casualties and further atrocities that occurred in the bombing were reported with shocked outrage that 'despite it all the bombing continues' "Clinton offers regret but raids continue" (China Daily, 1999 May 11: p. 2)
Concluding Remarks: Understanding China's Response
For a long time to come the Chinese are likely to continue to so see themselves as embattled, surrounded by enemies - on the one hand the treacherous Soviet Social Imperialists on the other the immensely powerful American Imperialists. No leading group in China is likely to advocate the sort of policies which would provoke a major attack by one or the other. Political tactics which helped play one off against the other could conceivably have a traditional appeal to some... (Huck 1970: p. 90-91)
- In exploring the responses of China to NATO's attack on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, it is possible to see that, after initial reactions of shock and horror, what developed in the days immediately following the bombing were a series of statements that reflected an ongoing struggle between China's economic interdependence and its quest for political 'independence', free from outside intervention. On the one hand China is dependent on the West for technological and economic advances. On the other, the terrible act of violence inflicted on the Chinese embassy gave rise to a strong articulation of Chinese nationalism and a reassertion of its values and rights. This contradiction is highlighted by Yahuda (1997) who suggests
In nearly two decades of practising economic interdependence with the outside world, China's leaders have 'learned' much...In the first decade, interdependence was seen as a mixed blessing - albeit a mixed one in view of what Deng [Xiaoping] called 'the flies and insects' (i.e. the capitalist and Western influences) that would inevitably come in through the open door. In the immediate aftermath of the Tiananmen crisis of 1989, interdependence was seen more harshly as part of a Western strategy...to subvert communist rule. (Yahuda 1997: p.6)
- Such an approach for China was, and continues to be problematic. This emerges from Yahuda's view that, one way for the West to avoid the instability that could be caused by China's rising power, has been to ensure China is interdependent with other nations. Whilst interdependence with other countries has its benefits, it is problematic for China, with its core values of independence, sovereignty and self-reliance (Yahuda 1997: p.8). It is these values that, whilst noting the need for technological aid, re-emerge in the responses to the bombing.
- This point is neatly illustrated in a speech of US Ambassador Nancy Rubin who recently called for China to implement a human rights covenant. On the one hand Rubin revels in the economic contribution made by the US to China's growing prosperity, but on the other hand criticises China for its handling of its internal affairs.
China has made great economic strides in this decade, and this has resulted in growing personal freedom and economic opportunities for the Chinese people. My country takes pride in knowing that our substantial trade with China has contributed to this growing prosperity. But at the same time, the verdict of history is clear. No nation can expect to maintain long-term economic growth unless and until it respects the universal human rights of all its citizens...The truth is, Madam Chair, that the human rights situation in China deteriorated sharply during the latter part of 1998. In the fall of last year, authorities have cracked down against organized political opposition, detaining dozens of activists for peaceful political activities. The government's control over the media intensified, and the authorities continued to restrict the freedom of worship for groups without official sanction. (Nancy Rubin April 23, 1999)
- For Rubin, access to technology and economic opportunities are one thing but western notions of human rights are another. Yet for the Chinese, the killing of Chinese nationals is just a flagrant abuse of human rights, allowing them to portray the US as barbaric. The portrayal of 'non-Chinese' as barbaric has a long tradition, depicted in the very words from which the name 'China' is derived which literally means 'middle kingdom'. Confucianism portrayed the 'civilised Chinese' to be surrounded by foreign barbarians (Garver 1993). The theme of civilised versus barbaric as a means of emphasising what it is to be Chinese, as distinct from western, can be understood as an attempt to reassert political unity and might. However, the assumed superior position of American political values is actually the inverse to that depicted in the Chinese press, where (departing from the conventional western notions) through the portrayal of the events and attitudes that resulted in the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, it is the Chinese who are presented as holding the moral highground. Through the symbolism of civilised and barbarous the inherent 'goodness' of Chinese values, and therefore Chinese political values, are reaffirmed and political independence restated.
- In conclusion, it could be argued that the Chinese cannot win. China is criticised for taking the diplomatic moral high ground whilst being damned for also wanting economic development as well as morality. However, in many ways the deaths of the journalists, killed by NATO's act of violence have now become lost in an ongoing dialogue played out in the media. Indeed, the evolving responses contained within the newspapers have gone well beyond the reporting of the deaths in Belgrade to become a part of broader concerns of self-interest and the continuing antagonism between rival political powers in their search for dominance.
- We would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers and Professor David Ashton for their valuable and constructive comments on the earlier version of this paper. The authors names are presented alphabetically to reflect their equal contributions.
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Copyright Sociological Research Online, 1999