“Facing the virus” anaphora in political speech: a faircloughian analysis of president Xi Jinping’s address to United Nations general assembly




anaphora, Fairclough’s CDA, ideologies, pronouns, three-tiered analysis


This research study aimed at the analysis of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s political discourse (his speech) delivered via video link at the annual General Debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The focus of analysis is the president’s speech using Norman Fairclough’s modal of three levels or dimensions of discourse. Results show that the speech uses anaphora and pronouns which position an inclusive society of togetherness with differences and competitions among nations, as part of natural order of things. Social determinants like the need to belong, the use of politeness in a context of formality and the appeal to class sentiments against social struggle. These practices contribute in gaining legitimacy and power in the speech. While the speech is considered a powerful tool in unpacking the speaker’s ideologies, behind the personas – international persona as juxtaposed with the national persona, the realities of political struggle, national or international, the stabilization of power and the struggle for multilateralism remain a challenge.


Download data is not yet available.


Arafah, B., Hasyim, M., & Kapoyos, F. E. (2021). E-democracy and the parrhesia language of netizen towards COVID-19 pandemic. Linguistics and Culture Review, 5(S1), 422-438. https://doi.org/10.37028/lingcure.v5nS1.1428

Bader, J. A. (2016). How Xi Jinping sees the world & and why. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.

Barr, R. R. (2009). Populists, outsiders and anti-establishment politics. party politics, 15(1), 29-48.

Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership: Good, better, best. Organizational dynamics, 13(3), 26-40.

Baturo, A., Dasandi, N., & Mikhaylov, S. J. (2017). Understanding state preferences with text as data: Introducing the UN General Debate corpus. Research & Politics, 4(2), 2053168017712821.

Beard, A. (2000). The language of politics (Vol. 121). London: Routledge.

Bello, U. (2013). " If I Could Make It, You Too Can Make It!" Personal Pronouns in Political Discourse: A CDA of President Jonathan's Presidential Declaration Speech. International Journal of English Linguistics, 3(6), 84.

Bramley, N. R. (2001). Pronouns of politics: the use of pronouns in the construction of'self'and'other'in political interviews.

Burns, R. G. (1978). Soil enzymes.

Chapter, V. I. I. I., Chapter, X. I., Territories, D. R. N. S. G., & Chapter, X. V. I. (1945). Charter of the United Nations. available at the website http://www. un. org/en/documents/charter/chapter14. shtml (accessed 2 March 2020).

Charolles, M. (1999). Associative anaphora and its interpretation. Journal of pragmatics, 31(3), 311-326. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(98)00070-8

Chilton, P. (2004). Analysing political discourse: Theory and practice. routledge.

Clancy, B., & Vaughan, E. C. (2014). Community and identity in language: small words, big ideas.

Daramola, A. (2008). A child of necessity: An analysis of political discourse in Nigeria. Pragmatics, 18(3), 355-380.

Fairclough, N. (1995). Media discourse (pp. 9-14). London: Edward Arnold.

Fairclough, N. (2001). Language and power. Pearson Education.

Forraiová, M. (2011). The use and function of repetition in political speeches.

Fu, P. P., Yan, X. H., Li, Y., Wang, E., & Peng, S. (2008). Examining conflict?handling approaches by Chinese top management teams in IT firms. International Journal of Conflict Management.

Goodrich, L. M. (1947). From League of Nations to United Nations. International Organization, 1(1), 3-21.

Griffith, A. K. (2020). Parental burnout and child maltreatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of family violence, 1-7.

Haynes, J. (2019). Introduction: The “clash of civilizations” and relations between the West and the Muslim world.

Hofmann, T. R. (1989). Paragraphs, & anaphora. Journal of pragmatics, 13(2), 239-250. https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(89)90093-3

Huang, Y. (2000). Discourse anaphora: Four theoretical models. Journal of pragmatics, 32(2), 151-176. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(99)00041-7

Íñigo-Mora, I. (2004). On the use of the personal pronoun we in communities. Journal of Language and Politics, 3(1), 27-52.

Jinping, X. (2020). Statement by HE Xi Jinping President of the People's Republic of China at the General Debate of the 75th Session of The United Nations General Assembly. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.

Johnstone, R. A. (1994). Female preference for symmetrical males as a by-product of selection for mate recognition. Nature, 372(6502), 172-175.

Kuo, C. H. (1999). The use of personal pronouns: Role relationships in scientific journal articles. English for specific purposes, 18(2), 121-138. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(97)00058-6

Lahlali, E. M. (2011). Contemporary Arab broadcast media. Edinburgh University Press.

Lahlali, E. M. (2012). Repetition and ideology in Nasrallah’s political speeches. Arab Media & Society, 15, 1-13.

Ma, L., & Tsui, A. S. (2015). Traditional Chinese philosophies and contemporary leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(1), 13-24.

Mazraani, N. (2013). Aspects of language variation in Arabic political speech-making. Routledge.

McDaniel, D., & Cowart, W. (1999). Experimental evidence for a minimalist account of English resumptive pronouns. Cognition, 70(2), B15-B24. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0010-0277(99)00006-2

Osborn, D. R. (1988). Seasonality and habit persistence in a life cycle model of consumption. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 255-266.

Pennebaker, J. W. (2011). The secret life of pronouns. New Scientist, 211(2828), 42-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0262-4079(11)62167-2

Pennycook, A. (1994). The politics of pronouns.

Peterson, M. J. (2006). The UN General Assembly. Routledge.

Qiao, X., & Ma, X. (2019). The Image of China in English Versions of State Leaders’ Address—A Case Study of Xi Jinping’s Address from 2016 to 2018. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 9(06), 591.

Richardson, J. (2006). Analysing newspapers: An approach from critical discourse analysis. Palgrave.

Sarnoto, A. Z., & Hayatina, L. (2021). Polarization of the Muslim community towards government policies in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia. Linguistics and Culture Review, 5(S1), 642-652. https://doi.org/10.37028/lingcure.v5nS1.1449

Scholten, A. N., Creutzberg, C. L., Noordijk, E. M., & Smit, V. T. (2002). Long-term outcome in endometrial carcinoma favors a two-instead of a three-tiered grading system. International Journal of Radiation Oncology* Biology* Physics, 52(4), 1067-1074. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0360-3016(01)02710-9

Sharififar, M., & Rahimi, E. (2015). Critical discourse analysis of political speeches: A case study of Obama's and Rouhani's speeches at UN. Theory and Practice in Language studies, 5(2), 343.

Sharma, R. (2020). Cluster analysis to identify prominent patterns of anti-hypertensives: A three-tiered unsupervised learning approach. Informatics in Medicine Unlocked, 19, 100303. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imu.2020.100303

Simpson, P. (2003). Language, ideology and point of view. Routledge.

Toolan, M. J. (2013). Narrative: A critical linguistic introduction. Routledge.

Ubeid, N. A., & Ali, A. Q. (2015). Pronominal Choices in Mandela's Speech at The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People: A Critical Discourse Analysis.

Verkuyten, M., & Martinovic, B. (2006). Understanding multicultural attitudes: The role of group status, identification, friendships, and justifying ideologies. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 30(1), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2005.05.015

Wodak, R., & Chilton, P. (Eds.). (2005). A new agenda in (critical) discourse analysis: theory, methodology and interdisciplinarity (Vol. 13). John Benjamins Publishing.

Wodak, R., & Meyer, M. (Eds.). (2015). Methods of critical discourse studies. Sage.

Yang, B., Fu, P., Beveridge, A. J., & Qu, Q. (2020). Humanistic leadership in a Chinese context. Cross Cultural & Strategic Management.

Zmigrod, L. (2020). The role of cognitive rigidity in political ideologies: theory, evidence, and future directions. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 34, 34-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2019.10.016



How to Cite

Luo, Y. (2021). “Facing the virus” anaphora in political speech: a faircloughian analysis of president Xi Jinping’s address to United Nations general assembly. Linguistics and Culture Review, 5(S1), 1039-1053. https://doi.org/10.21744/lingcure.v5nS1.1490



Research Articles