The map is the story: the U-shaped line in western news media coverage of the geopolitics of the South China Sea
Vujakovic, P. 2018. The map is the story: the U-shaped line in western news media coverage of the geopolitics of the South China Sea. International Journal of Cartography.
China's claim to a large part of the South China Sea (SCS) is indicated by a specific cartographic convention, the U-shaped (or dashed) line, shown on its official maps. The line has become an important element in Western popular discourse concerning the geopolitics of the SCS.
This paper argues that the cartographic re-presentation of the U-shaped line in the Western press contributes to an 'orientalist' conception that portrays China as 'other'; as aggressive and unwilling to 'play by the rules', and a portrayal of the whole region as potentially unstable. Its re-circulation may, however, work to China's advantage by reinforcing cartographic precedent and creating a specific 'geographic imagination' of the SCS. Maps are regarded as an important element in the 'spectacle of fear' propagated by the West, with the representations of the SCS shown to be part of a wider use of maps by the press to cover issues related to geopolitics and conflict.
|Keywords||Geopolitics; cartography; news-media|
|Journal||International Journal of Cartography|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Online||10 Dec 2018|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||01 Nov 2018|
|Accepted||25 Oct 2018|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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