ChinfluenCE policy paper Great Expectations: China’s Image in Polish Mainstream Media and Among Elites presents results of large-scale mapping of Polish media’s coverage of China from 2010 till mid-2018.
The ChinfluenCE policy paper finds out that, unlike in the other three Visegrád countries, the Polish media discourse on China was exceptionally positive. Official rhetoric of decision makers was not consistent with the actual state of Sino-Polish economic and political relations as the predominant image of China presented in the Polish media was idealized, concentrating upon potential benefits resulting from the Sino-Polish relations, despite the lack of actual data to confirm hypothetical profits. Among Polish public such a narrative created exaggerated expectations regarding the importance of co-operation with China, as well as false perception of the actual impact of political cooperation between Warsaw and Beijing.
Based on the project’s findings, the paper comes up with a set of recommendations for Poland. The coverage of China in the Polish media should be demythologized, based upon the actual outcome of Sino-Polish economic and political relations (as well as broader geopolitical considerations) rather than wishful thinking. Media should be supported in delivering informed and objective coverage of China. Decision makers should be more transparent (and media should make them accountable) on their actual intentions regarding the extend of Poland’s cooperation with China. A consistent strategy of contacts with China and the best formula of economic and trade relations is needed in Poland.