Austin Horng-En Wang (Political Science) published a co-authored article, "Understanding the #MilkTeaAlliance Movement," in 2021-22 Wilson China Fellowship - Essays on China and U.S. Policy. This article implements a big-data approach and analyze 3 million #MilkTeaAlliance tweets between April 2020 and December 2021, trying to disentangle how East and Southeast Asian netizens communicated and mobilized through this hashtag across borders. The results show that Thai-speaking Twitter users contributed to more than 50 percent of all #MilkTeaAlliance tweets globally, and several waves of hashtags in 2020 mostly reflect the political challenges Thai people faced. Network and keyness analysis show that discussion through the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag was mainly about counterarguments to China’s narrative of globalization in its early stages and was tweeted in English. Months later, attention gradually shifted to human rights and supporting detained and repressed activists, and the tweets were mostly not written in English.
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