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CityU releases 2015 LIVAC Pan-Chinese Media Personality Roster

The 2015 LIVAC Pan-Chinese Media Personality Roster was released on 28 December 2015 by the Department of Linguistics and Translation of City University of Hong Kong (CityU). As usual, major political figures are still the name of the game, but the roster also shows China’s rising status as a major player in global political and economic affairs. The appearance of Chu Li-luan and Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan on the roster also puts the spotlight on critical cross-strait relations, which have broad implications for both Asia and the world.
 
The roster shows that in 2015, 16 of the top celebrities appeared at the same time in Hong Kong, Taipei and Beijing (see Table 1). This number is relatively small compared to that of the past few years. The roster lists five names from the mainland, two from the UK, two, surprisingly, from Taiwan and one each from the US, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Greece and Israel.
 
“The fact that the list includes only politicians shows that power politics and the competition among China, the US and Russia play a dominant role in the world today,” said Professor Benjamin Tsou Ka-yin, Emeritus Professor of the Department of Linguistics and Translation of CityU. “President Xi Jinping has emerged as a key figure, showing that China has become an energetic participant in international affairs. The appearance of both Ma Ying-jeou and Chu Li-luan of Taiwan grabs our attention for different reasons and shows that any new breakthrough in cross-strait relations remains a major concern in the Pan-Chinese and even international news media.”
 
This year’s media celebrities represent significant cultural icons, both new and old: (1) President Xi Jinping, with his ‘One Belt and One Road’ project, advocates a new era of peace and development; (2) Sino-Japanese relations centre around Shinzō Abe; (3) Alexis Tsipras is the key figure in the Greek debt crisis; and (4) Benjamin Netanyahu is the central figure in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What’s particularly striking is that the meetings between President Xi and Ma and Chu placed Ma and Chu on the 2015 Pan-Chinese Roster, thereby stressing the significance of the cross-strait relations.
 
On the Hong Kong roster (see Table 2), Leung Chun-ying stands indisputably in first place. Chan Man-mun, Lau Wong-fat and Li Kwok-cheung are listed in the roster because of The University of Hong Kong pro-vice-chancellor selection controversy and subsequent events. Professor Tsou suggests that such controversies could be hints of wider social discontent. He also says the significant decrease in the number of popular sports and entertainment figures on the roster could reflect the increasing politicisation of Hong Kong society.
 
The Taiwan roster is dominated by important political figures from the opposing Blue and Green Camps (see Table 2). Tsai Ing-wen, head of the Green Camp, is ranked first, followed by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je in second place, ahead of Ma and Chu. Hung Hsiu-chu, the Blue Camp presidential candidate, replaced at almost the last minute, also ranks higher than Ma and Chu. As in past years, many popular sports and entertainment figures, like Jay Chou, Jody Chiang, Chen Wei-yin, Jeremy “Insanity” Lin, and Wang Chien-ming, rank high on the roster, reflecting the high social status of popular sports and entertainment figures in Taiwan.
 
Five of the seven new Politburo Standing Committee members in China are among the top 25 celebrities in the Beijing roster this year (see Table 2). The head of the CPC anti-graft commission, Wang Qishan, like last year, is not on the list. Professor Tsou considers this to be a case of “punishing one’s son behind half-opened doors”. The positions of Shinzō Abe and Barack Obama, third and fourth on the roster, respectively, this year, could be a significant hint about Beijing’s greater emphasis on Sino-Japanese than Sino-US relations.
 
Based on the LIVAC Synchronous Corpus, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LIVAC_ Synchronous_Corpus), the Pan-Chinese Media Personality Roster is compiled by researchers using the cumulative statistics of the bi-weekly analyses of media personalities in Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei and other pan-Chinese regions. The 25 most frequently found personalities are included in the Bi-Weekly Media Personality Roster. This data is subsequently accumulatively analysed to compile the annual Pan-Chinese Media Personality Roster and local rosters. The research covers media reports in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Beijing and other pan-Chinese regions.
 
Launched by CityU in 1995, the LIVAC Synchronous Corpus regularly and concurrently filters and rigorously analyses data from newspapers in major Chinese communities. More than 500 million characters of news media text have been processed and analysed, building an expanding Pan-Chinese dictionary of nearly two million words. The annual pan-Chinese personality roster was launched in 2000.
 
Media enquiries:
Professor Benjamin Tsou, Emeritus Professor, Department of Linguistics and Translation, CityU (Tel: 886-0978940631)

 

 

Appendix
 
Table 1  2015 LIVAC Pan-Chinese Media Celebrity Roster (Hong Kong, Taiwan and Beijing)
Hong Kong no.
Hong Kong Celebrities
Taiwan
no.
Taiwan Celebrities
Beijing
no.
Beijing Celebrities
1
Xi Jinping
1
Chu Li-luan
1
Xi Jinping
2
Shinzō Abe
2
Ma Ying-jeou
2
Li Keqiang
3
Barack Obama
3
Xi Jinping
3
Shinzō Abe
4
Ma Ying-jeou
4
Shinzō Abe
4
Barack Obama
5
Li Keqiang
5
Barack Obama
5
Angela Merkel
6
Chu Li-luan
6
Vladimir Putin
6
Vladimir Putin
7
Angela Merkel
7
Park Geun-hye
7
Deng Xiaoping
8
Vladimir Putin
8
Li Keqiang
8
Benjamin Netanyahu
9
Park Geun-hye
9
Prince William
9
David Cameron
10
Benjamin Netanyahu
10
David Cameron
10
Park Geun-hye
11
Alexis Tsipras
11
Alexis Tsipras
11
Prince William
12
Prince William
12
Deng Xiaoping
12
Lü Xinhua
13
Lü Xinhua
13
Zhou Benshun
13
Chu Li-luan
14
Zhou Benshun
14
Benjamin Netanyahu
14
Alexis Tsipras
15
Deng Xiaoping
15
Lü Xinhua
15
Ma Ying-jeou
16
David Cameron
16
Angela Merkel
16
Zhou Benshun
 
Table 2  2015 LIVAC Celebrity Rosters for Hong Kong (1) , Taiwan (2) and Beijing (3)
No.
Hong Kong List (1)
Taiwan List (2)
Beijing List (3)
1
Leung Chun-ying
Tsai Ing-wen
Xi Jinping
2
Xi Jinping
Ko Wen-je
Li Keqiang
3
Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor
Hung Hsiu-chu
Shinzō Abe
4
Chan Man-mun
Chu Li-luan
Barack Obama
5
Shinzō Abe
Ma Ying-jeou
Yu Zhengsheng
6
Li Ka-shing
Xi Jinping
Liu Yandong
7
Lee Kuan Yew
Jay Chou
Zou Bihua
8
Tsang Chun-wah
Shinzō Abe
Chen Yun
9
Tsang Yok-sing
Barack Obama
Zhang Dejiang
10
Xiao Youhuai
Wang Jin-pyng
Sun Yang
11
Barack Obama
Jody Chiang
Angela Merkel
12
Lau Wai-hing
Chen Shui-bian
Zhang Gaoli
13
Leung Chai-yan
Chen Wei-Yin
Wang Yang
14
Lau Wong-fat
Cheng Chieh
Wang Yi
15
Hung Hsiu-chu
Lai Ching-Te
Liu Xiang
16
Tong Ka-wah
Hou Hsiao-hsien
Huang Zhiqiang
17
Li Kwok-cheung
Lee Teng-hui
Vladimir Putin
18
Ip Lau Suk-yee
Jeremy Lin
Luo Dengxian
19
Fong Jo-ming (Jaycee Chan)
Soong Chu-yu
Li Yuanchao
20
Ma Ying-jeou
P’ang Te
Deng Xiaoping
21
Ho Chun-yan
Vladimir Putin
Ga Bulong
22
Leung Kwok-hung
Lee Chuan-chiao
Yang Jiechi
23
Leong Kah-kit
Wang Chien-ming
Li Denggui
24
Ip Ka-po
Hillary Clinton
Anne Frank
25
Ko Wing-man
Chiang Kai-shek
Mao Zedong
 
Table 3  Notes
No.
Names
Notes
1
Xi Jinping
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People's Republic of China, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Ex-Officio Member of the Politburo Standing Committee
2
Shinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan, President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
3
Barack Obama
President of the United States
4
Ma Ying-jeou
President of the Republic of China (ROC), Chairman of the Kuomintang (resigned on 3 December 2014)
5
Li Keqiang
Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Member of the Politburo Standing Committee
6
Chu Li-luan
Mayor of New Taipei, Chairman of the Kuomintang (elected on 17 October 2015)
7
Angela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany, Leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)
8
Vladimir Putin
President of Russia, former Prime Minister of Russia
9
Park Geun-hye
President of South Korea
10
Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Israel
11
Alexis Tsipras
Prime Minister of Greece
12
Prince William
Elder son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, married Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011
13
Lü Xinhua
Spokesman of National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)
14
Zhou Benshun
Former Communist Party Secretary and the top official of Hebei Province who was put under investigation for suspected "serious disciplinary violation"
15
Deng Xiaoping
Former head of state, head of government or General Secretary
16
David Cameron
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom





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