Vol. 4 No. 1 (2021): Pakistan Journal of International Affairs

CPEC and the Narratives of States and Media

Published 2021-03-29


The CPEC is the centrepiece project of the Belt and Road Initiative from China to Pakistan. The way the CPEC influences the Pakistani media coverage is linked to popular views of the project and can potentially affect Pakistan's success or failure. This research investigates CPEC coverage in Pakistani and Indian media by building and analysing semantic news networks. We identify the emotional polarity of the CPEC news coverage with the terms used in the news and how the media portrays the CPEC in Pakistan. We then build semanticized networks of negative, neutral and positive papers. The network analysis is utilised to identify the features of the distinct sentiment networks, the meaning of the words and how the negative key ideas describe anxiety about CPECrelated hurdles and barriers. The results reflect a favourable attitude towards the CPEC in most coverage. Negative feeling to CPEC is shown by more different messages which show a stronger cohesion than the bigger positive network, which is less linked. Indian, security, regional, party, conflicts, Cashemira, Afghanistan, debit, credit, the situation, disputes, costs, resistance and peace are the major negative subjects highlighted, which is defined by anxiety and scepticism of the CPEC and the stability of its structure. In contrast, advancement, support, benefit and prosperity, improvement, improvement, stimulation, and prospective returns and governmental assurances are the main terms in the positive network. Semantic network analysis of Pakistani media opinions on CPEC can increase our awareness of Pakistani views on the CPEC. Our research combines quantitative and qualitative evidence for the coverage of the media in Pakistan, which gives insight into communication used to increase trust in the CPEC and also enables us to better comprehend the Belt and Road Initiative