Образ “врага” и нейтралитет в китайских карикатурах
The timeliness of the present research is determined by undying relevance of political cartoons and their considerable political potential. Military-political crisis caused by the start of a special military operation brought about growing uncertainty and made cartoons effective means in explaining complex issues in a simple way to general public. In the study 63 political cartoons published in Chinese online newspaper “Global Times” (the English version) between 24.02.2022 and 01.06.2022 were scrutinized. The study relies on the agenda-setting theory and dependency theory. An interdisciplinary classifier proposed by N. Radina was adapted for the objectives of the research and comprised the following components: the topic of cartoons, targets of cartoons, recognition, the subject of discussion, correlation of verbal and visual parts of cartoons, concentration of humor, metaphors, precedent texts, intertextuality, frames, linguistic features, the type of impact, intention. The results indicate that throughout the period foreign as well as domestic policy of the United States was the main focus of the cartoons despite the changing news agenda. Furthermore, the cartoons confirm the neutral position of official China, while condemning the conflict as such. The cartoons directly point to the culprit of the conflict employing all available visual and linguistic means, and also emphasize the negative assessment of the actions of the “enemy” via such frames as aggression, intervention and destructive behavior. Thus, it can be concluded that the main intention of the published cartoons was to convey to the foreign audience the following position in a fairly straightforward manner: China condemns both US foreign policy and domestic policy, defining US not only as an “enemy” of China, but also of other countries, and accusing “Uncle Sam” of fueling the conflict, and the geopolitical crisis. As the limitation of this work the inability to conduct a full-fledged quantitative analysis can be named. As perspectives for further research, the ongoing comparison of the key meanings derived from the messages transmitted to the Chinese audience seems relevant.