How the Covid-19 Pandemic Triggers Nationalist Online Expressions in China and Vietnam


About the Webinar

Foreign criticism or skepticism of how China and Vietnam have handled the Covid-19 pandemic – and the sentiment against perceived Western superiority claims – have proved to be new triggers for nationalist expression, particularly in the online sphere. This new dynamic emerges at a time when there have been pent-up grievances against racist treatment of Asians in Western countries. It all the more makes sense in the pandemic-era when young social media-savvy users seem to yearn to defend and define their identities online. In that context, Chinese and Vietnamese netizens have adopted a tough stance when triggered by external provocations even though they may be critical of their respective domestic political leaderships and socio-political conditions. This webinar seeks to examine that dynamic in the Chinese and Vietnamese context: How have such nationalist narratives been shaped – by either state or popular actors? Would the spike in online nationalism arising from the pandemic be just a temporary phenomenon or a long-lasting one? Would it be risky for authoritarian authorities to bank on such support in the post-pandemic era?

About the Speakers

Jennifer Pan is an Associate Professor of Communication at Stanford University. Her research focuses on political communication and authoritarian politics. Pan uses experimental and computational methods with large-scale datasets on political activity in China and other authoritarian regimes to answer questions about how autocrats perpetuate their rule. How political censorship, propaganda, and information manipulation work in the digital age. How preferences and behaviors are shaped as a result. She graduated from Princeton University, summa cum laude, and received her Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Department of Government. Pan will be presenting her work on the effects of anti-Asian hate speech on attitudes toward liberal democracy and political reform in China.

Dien Nguyen An Luong is Visiting Fellow with the Media, Technology and Society Programme of the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. A journalist with significant experience as managing editor at Vietnam’s top newsrooms, his work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, and other publications. Dien holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism as a Fulbright scholar. His current research focuses on the influence of China on the social media landscape in Vietnam. Dien will be presenting his observation on how increasingly vocal and frequent social media users have become in defending Vietnam’s image abroad, particularly in the pandemic era.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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Sep 29 2021


10:00 am - 11:15 am