Propaganda can be described as statements or ideas that are often false or exaggerated to foster a certain course. This information is meant to deceive the audience into believing something that is not true in order for a particular person or people to benefit (Baker & Wiencek, 2002). The paper below analyzes the propaganda in a speech given by the US defense secretary in a summit which was attended by some of U.S alleys countries who were in constant conflict over the South China Sea.

The US defense secretary Chuck Hagel was recently in a three-day summit which had U.S allies from South-East Asian in attendance. Mr. Hagel went ahead to give a moving speech in this summit but looking back at the speech’s content one will note that it contained propaganda. The intended audience was the conflicting U.S ally countries which were in constant conflict over the ownership of the South China Sea (Chakraborti, 2012). The media item used to spread propaganda, in this case, is a speech addressed to the U.S ally countries that were in attendance in the summit. The speech was read by Chuck Hagel the U.S defense secretary addressing the growing conflict between its ally countries over the ownership of South China Sea (Chung, 2015).

Sentiment analysis and the third Herman and Chomsky filter on reliance of can be used to bring perfectly out the propaganda in this discourse. Judging by Chuck Hagel’s speech, it sounds that he has a neutral stand on the growing conflict over the South China Sea. This is furthered by the public opinion that Unites States being a super power everything it says is always right an issue associated with Herman and Chomsky’s filter model. However, looking closely one will note that the conflict is a huge stumbling block on the U.S interest. The South China Sea is an important seaway for both cargo and people from the U. S. to Asia, therefore, this growing conflict has hugely dented some of U.S sector of economy especially the shipping industry («Internal waves in the South China Sea», 2015. On the other hand, this seaway is important to the U.S due to the oil it imports from the oil rigs located in Vietnam. Therefore, the Unites States wants this conflict to end as quickly as possible in order for its operations to get back to normal schedule. As evident in the speech that was given by the defense secretary; the United States is ready to take up stiff measures on any countries fostering this conflict. Despite appearing that the U.S has a neutral stand on this issue, it is clear through its authoritative threats that its course is to end the conflict and ensure that no country claims possession of this seaway (Karim, 2013).

China seems to be more aggressive to claim ownership of this seaway this has led to the U. S jumping into the defense of Vietnam and the Philippines who are the countries in constant conflict over the possession of this seaway. The U.S knows that if this seaway is possessed by one nation, it will be difficult for its shipping business with the Asian allies to thrive. On the other hand, it will also be too expensive to importing oil from Venezuela oil rigs due to the increased taxes (Liu, 2013). The ownership of this seaway by one nation will also cause a lot of bureaucracy in order for the U. S water vessels to pass through this seaway. This is why in his speech the defense secretary has strategically accused China of «destabilizing» the South China Sea through taking up unilateral in an effort to assert its possession of this seaway (Samuels, 1982).


Despite the fact that the U.s appeared to have a neutral ground it is evident that it is against Chinas course in possessing this South China Sea since it would hamper its operations and interest. In his speech, he claimed that the U. S would propose the idea of all these nations fighting for territorial rights to unite and own his seaway as a group. Judging by this proposal, this would mean that the sea operations of the U.S would run smoothly as they did earlier. The U.S defense secretary goes further and puts more strict measures on the nations which are against the thought of unification by claiming that they would risk their security and peace. In this case, the U.S defense secretary speech seems as having the main course of fostering security in the region. However, this is only propaganda its actual course is to ensure that these is no solitary ownership of this seaway by any nation which would be advantageous to them. Therefore, the speech contains ideological biases.


Evidently the speech that was read by U.S defense secretary Chuck Hagel contained propaganda. This was intended to deceive the conflicting nation the U. S was concerned about peace between them, however, in reality, it was to ensure that there was no solitary ownership of the seaway that was causing this conflict (Yahuda, 2013). The propaganda was quite effective since there was a global outcry of China’s unilateral action in this dispute with other nations also criticized China, especially for its action to uproot Vietnam’s oil rig. This led to China slowing its course on gaining territorial rights on this seaway (Wu & Zou, 2009).


As once said by Adolf Hitler “all that matters is propaganda it is clear that propaganda has been used to foster various courses in this day and age (Das, 2014). It is clear that the modern day society is prone to propaganda, and it only takes one to control the public opinion to achieve this. In this case, since the U.S has quite a strong public opinion behind it has been able to manipulate other nation to fostering its course.


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Internal waves in the South China Sea. (2015). Phys. Today.

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Samuels, M. (1982). Contest for the South China Sea. New York: Methuen.

Wu, S., & Zou, K. (2009). Maritime security in the South China Sea. Farnham, England: Ashgate.

Yahuda, M. (2013). China’s New Assertiveness in the South China Sea. Journal Of Contemporary China, 22(81), 446-459.