A Pragma-Dialectical Analysis of Chinese Government’s Argumentation: A Case of ‘Comment on Country Report of Human Rights Practice by the U.S. Department of State’

Jin Ruhua


This paper, adopting pragma-dialectical

approach, analyses the Chinese government’s

argumentative discourse in response to the

accusation of its human rights practices by

American government, in order to explore the

former’s argumentation in resistance to

America’s hegemony. It takes “Comment on

Country Report of Human Rights Practices by

the U.S. Department of State”, three pieces of

official documents issued by Information Office

of State Council of China (“IOSC”) from 1995 to

1997, as the research texts. It analyses the

claim (standpoint), argument (reason), argument

structure and scheme to find out the

argumentative strategies of IOSC in these four

aspects. It was found that: 1) in terms of

standpoint, IOSC denied the view of U.S. side

that China had human rights abuses in some

parts of its Country Report; 2) in terms of

argument, IOSC mainly provided four types of

reasons: the U.S. counterpart distorted China’s

domestic human rights practices in some cases,

neglected the progress of human rights the

Chinese government had made, took a blind eye

to America’s own severe human rights violations,

and American government’s accusation through

Country Report was the embodiment of

hegemony; 3) As to the argument structure, the

Chinese government adopted non-mixed complex

argumentation with their various types of

multiple, coordinate and subordinate structure

in combination on human rights issue; 4) in

terms of argument scheme, IOSC mainly adopted

symptomatic scheme in its discourse. The study

provides practical values for the improvement

of a development country’s international human

rights discourse in the argumentative lens.


argumentation; human rights; pragmatic-dialectics; argumentation structure

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18002/sin.v3i2.5259


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