Framing of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Elite Press of India and Afghanistan (2015-2017)

  •  Shahbaz Aslam    
  •  Arshad Ali    
  •  Muhammad Farooq    


$1 trillion Belt Road Initiative (BRI)’s China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) component is a dimensional shift in Sino-Pak relations and a conception of shared future being heralded as the game changer for Pakistan as well as for the whole region. As a nodal part of the China’s ambitious Belt & Road Initiative that envisage to improve connectivity on transcontinental scale by connecting China to Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the CPEC has come under attention of international media, policy makers, economists and academicians. This study discusses the framing of CPEC in press of India and China. India being territorial neighbors and China being the investor shares certain interests, reservations and apprehensions related to CPEC. Two English newspapers from China (China Daily & Global Times) and India (Indian Express & The Hindu) were selected and all the news and editorials related to CPEC were analyzed for the period of 2015-2017. Finding reveals that India’s press is covering CPEC more in terms of strategic and conflict perspective rather than infrastructure and connectivity aspects. However, the Chinese press covers CPEC in broader context of BRI and globalization hence connectivity, development, strategic value and economic paybacks are the dominant frames. Moreover, framing of CPEC varies over the time in the press of India and China. Study suggests that policy making is needed to reduce the negative stance and communication differences of international press towards CPEC. Findings imply that Pakistan should made efforts to develop better relations with neighboring countries by engaging them with CPEC as a project of development, mutual benefit and regional integration.

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