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Iranian Digital Diplomacy Towards China: 2019 as a Turning Point

Wang, Dan and Yellinek, Roie (2022) 'Iranian Digital Diplomacy Towards China: 2019 as a Turning Point.', Asian Affairs, 53 (1). pp. 68-86.


Digital diplomacy is an efficient tool for building close relationships between countries, especially when it comes to people-to-people diplomacy (P2P). This article aims to explore how the Iranian embassy in Beijing uses Chinese social media and reveals the motivations and changes in its behaviour. The main finding was that 2019 was a turning point; before 2019, the embassy messages were more informative without targeting specifically its Chinese audience, and since 2019 the messages have been showing deeper understating the local discourse and, therefore, have been more tailored for its Chinese audience. The main reasons for that were the place of Iran in the China-US trade war, the role of the EU in uplifting Iran's status in the international community, and the Ambassadors' characteristics and background, which switched at the end of 2018.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:17 May 2022
Date of first online publication:09 February 2022
Date first made open access:17 May 2022

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