"Understanding China's political signalling," Public Diplomacy and International Communications: Thoughts and comments about public diplomacy, soft power and international communications by Gary Rawnsley.
Image (not from entry) from, with caption: Women’s Emergency Signalling Corps members at Castle Hill c1939.
China's propaganda and public diplomacy activity is designed for domestic as much as for international audiences (1). Anne-Marie Brady famously described the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a campaign of mass distraction (2). When China engages in international posturing, we should see what is going on inside the country for a possible explanation.
(1) See Kingley Edney's The Globalization of Chinese Propaganda: International Power and Domestic Cohesion (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
(2) Anne-Marie Brady, 'The Beijing Olympics as a Campaign of Mass Distraction', The China Quarterly, Vol.197 (March 2009).