The club and the carrot of China’s globalization
With tight media censorship, inconsistent policies against rampant piracy, and the notorious internet 'great firewall,' China's emergence in the global system of capitalist production seems aberrant, sometimes even scandalous (as opposed to the Western liberal democratic standard). In his new book Global Capital, Local Culture, Anthony Fung builds cases around this aberrant image of China to show that despite outcry and reprehension, China's aspiration to reform its media and cultural industries, and its vacillating attitudes toward marketization are indeed backed up by a resolute and calculating state seeking to play its globalization card with national sovereignty (Fung 2008).
Celebratory narratives of globalization often emphasize that globalization is de-centered, de-territorialized, and de-governmentalized. Fung's analysis, focusing on the transnational corporate activities in China, has certainly furnished the narratives with fresh evidence on the first two counts. The only difference being that the state dominates its globalization processes. The goal is not simply to monitor the penetrating foreign cultural influence, but also to aggressively utilize the global (capital, distribution network, technology, and commercialization capacities) to help China become the next media empire.
Shih-che Tang is Associate professor in the Department of Communication and Graduate Institute of Telecommunications, National Chung Cheng University.