HKU Data Repository
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The Belt and Road Initiative on Twitter: An Annotated Dataset

Version 8 2022-10-21, 06:39
Version 7 2022-10-13, 02:09
Version 6 2022-10-11, 09:26
Version 5 2022-07-28, 05:13
Version 4 2022-05-30, 04:00
Version 3 2022-05-29, 00:31
Version 2 2022-05-26, 12:54
Version 1 2022-05-26, 06:14
posted on 2022-10-21, 06:39 authored by Chun Yin Man, David Alexander PalmerDavid Alexander Palmer, Junxi QianJunxi Qian

Initiated by the Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) is a multi-trillion-dollar agenda for facilitating trade and investment, especially massive infrastructural developments. In recent years, discussions around the BRI have been increasing as more than 130 countries and 30 international organizations have officially joined the initiative, collaborating in a series of transnational infrastructure projects funded by Chinese companies or the Chinese state. This dataset provides 500,711 posts and 714,794 reposting threads related to the BRI on Twitter. The dataset was collected through the Twitter API by applying a set of keywords: “belt and road”, “one belt one road”, “new silk road”, “maritime silk road”, and “silk road economic belt”, which included the words and their hashtag forms to download the raw data from Twitter. The time series of the dataset is from 7 September 2013 to 30 November 2021. Furthermore, the dataset is annotated in terms of languages, emotional polarity, geopolitical entities, and credibility by employing textual analytics in language detection, neural machine translation, and lexicon-based sentiment analysis. To facilitate future research, we classified the dataset into three databases that can be analyzed separately and reused in research related to various fields, such as political science, network science, and sociology to study public opinions about the BRI and their dissemination patterns.

All programming scripts required to reproduce the dataset are available at:


CRF grant no. C7052-18G, “Infrastructures of Faith: Religious Mobilities on the Belt and Road”


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    Infrastructures of Faith: Religious Mobilities on the Belt and Road [BRINFAITH]


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