Editor’s Note: This is the sixteenth installment of Belt and Road Portal's special series on the Belt and Road Big Data Report 2017.
International media and netizens’ focus on topics related to the Belt and Road Initiative has gradually diverted from concepts to projects during the period between 2013 and 2016, according to the Belt and Road Big Data Report 2017 published by the State Information Center.
The construction of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, the China-Laos railway and the Gwadar Port, the launch of the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway and Mombasa-Nairobi railway, the China-Europe freight train services, which connects 32 cities in 12 European countries, and the fast growth of the China-Belarus industrial park in Minsk, the Thailand-China industrial park in Rayong and Ethiopia’s Eastern Industry Zone in Addis Ababa - all important projects under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative – play key roles in deepening the international community’s recognition and understanding of the initiative.
International media is paying greater attention than before to the results and tangible progress of the projects related to the initiative rather than speculating over the intentions of the initiative.
The French newspaper Le Figaro sent reporters to China, Laos, Pakistan, Djibouti and Greece to cover the Belt and Road projects while The Wall Street Journal is focusing on the China-Europe freight train services’ influence in its reports.
The big data report also finds that foreign media and netizens are more interested in Guangdong, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Henan and Chongqing’s participation in the initiative.
Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Beijing and Shanghai have the most frequent economic and cultural exchanges with the countries along the Belt and Road routes than the other provincial regions. Sichuan, Henan and Chongqing are closely connected with the Belt and Road through the China-Laos railway and the China-Europe freight train services.