China’s Image in Trump’s Tweets Concerning COVID-19: A Critical Discourse Analysis

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Zainab Abd Al-Razaq Mohammad, Raith Zeher Abid


         Texts can be written or spoken in any language and must be represented linguistically and in terms of their intended context or meaning (Widdowson, 2004). Discourse, on the other hand, is well-defined by its influence as a text in context. Fowler (1991) defines vocabularies as a "major determinant of ideational structure" that invents the concepts we should talk about.  The main concept of this study is to highlight how Trump uses words in his written discourses, besides investigating the ideological meaning behind his words. This research is based on Fairclough’s three-dimensional model and van Dijk’s ideological square. Fairclough’s model consists of three various words’ values which are experiential, relational, and expressive. Fairclough model is utilized to reveal the linguistic items which are used by Trump to represent China concerning COVID-19. On other hand, van Dijk’s ideological square was utilized to observe the representation of the self and the other in Trump tweets. This approach was used because of its dynamic nature, which tends to clarify the ideological dimension, moreover, revealing the discursive structures and strategies utilized in fulfilling the dominant power. This research is based on 37 tweets elected between the periods (from 25/1/2020, until 23/8/2020). The period was restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic since its early appearance was in Wuhan and then spread all over the world. The results showed that before COVID-19 spreading, China has represented positively throughout Trump’s tweets. Whereas, after the spreading across America and the World, Trump's positive stance altered into a highly negative one against China. When COVID-19 started to attack America, Trump began to associate China with negative actions and features that holding it responsible for spreading COVID-19. On other hand, America, throughout Trump’s discourses, was associated with positive actions and properties. It is represented as a savor for the world from COVID-19.

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