Throughout the history of its representation in the European and North American eyes, China has been viewed as unique, but at the same time placing it on a politico-cultural grid was perceived as a necessity to make theories and discourses work. After a brief period of positioning China in post-socialist transition, its place in representation changed to an exploitative pool of cheap labour and then – to an emerging superpower. Therefore China is as much a testing ground for theories about the development of capitalism and world political systems as it was in the 19th century. The empirical part of this publication discusses how cultural theories, symbols and images powerfully shape the discourse around China in rationalist, economically oriented elite media, and then discusses the role of experts, who position themselves as intermediaries, fluctuating in the field of the rules of various genres of knowledge production. Based on media discourse analysis and interviews with the experts, the author shows how different methods of knowledge production and claim-making interact in shaping political positions at the EU level.