‘Image’ as a kind of softpower plays an increasingly important role in international relations and is drawing more and more attention from international actors. In the process of national image (or international actor’s image) construction mass media is an inevitable actor not only because it can prominently reflect perceptions from the government, elites and the public but can also affect or even lead the direction the perception takes to an extent. Previous studies have suggested that international actors usually respond to their images when they make decisions or take action. This paper investigates articles about the EU in two influential Chinese newspapers, People’s Daily and Nanfang Daily, which were published from 2002 to 2011, employing empirical research methods in the analysis of the intensity, content and attitude of the newspaper articles. The comparison of news reports and EUChina relations enables us to discuss the relationship between international relations and actors’ media images. Thus, this study sets out to determine how the Chinese media perceive the EU and whether EU-China relations and the media might have co-constituted and co-determined each other in the decade between 2002 and 2011.