Media, Communication, Digitalization
Since 2013, the Chinese government has laid out a plan for the reinvention and reorganisation of the former Silk Road. It was first called “One belt one road” (OBOR) (一带一路 yi dai yi lu in Chinese) then in 2017, relabeled “Belt and road initiative” (BRI)..
The work challenges the representations elaborated by the media (first and most important part) and the reality of the concept through a “case study”, i.e. Connectivity in the Western Balkans.
The aim is also to question whether the discourse and actions of China and Europe can be ana-lysed where rhetoric wins over substance and political projects over economic gains. It will use two different frameworks, international relations and framing to examine both parties’ discus-sion on the BRI. We have chosen European and Chinese official and unofficial news sources and analysed them on two and a half year, from January 2016 to May 2019. We have selected four leading European newspapers two essential Chinese news providers: Global Times and People’s Daily, as well as Xinhua Twitter accounts and semi-structured interviews.
The research contributes to providing concrete elements and information connected with econ-omy and projects in a comparative perspective around two main points: 1 - European and Chi-nese perceptions of the BRI in a selection of newspapers and social media, 2 – Content and meaning of the key word “connectivity” of both the BRI and the European Neighborhood poli-cy in the Western Balkans.
3rd co-author: Ellen Zheng Yue, Assistant professor, Department of Journalism, Jinan University