Researchers can rest assured that the methodology followed in this project is rigorous. The aim is to ensure a data base of quality acceptable to academic discourse, so that it can serve as source material for research purposes. While human errors can, naturally, not be ruled out, every care is taken to ensure that there are no omissions in the coverage targeted by the project, as spelt out in the preceding write-up on its scope.
Thus no item falling within the ambit of the first four Sections listed in the write-up “Scope of the Project” – howsoever small or trivial it may (seem to) be – is left out of the data base. It is for readers to draw conclusions about the significance of the items in the compilation , or the lack of it. (If at all any item is missing, it would be an inadvertent omission, and not by design. Viewers are requested to bring any such items to our notice so that the omission can be remedied forthwith.)
Categorisation: The classification that has been followed for categorising the entries, both translations of items from the Chinese press (starred red) and those taken from the English language news platforms of China (starred green), is as follows:
The first three categories are self-evident. The fourth category, “PERCEPTIONS”, would cover items that involve perceptions (but not any aspect of India-China Relations or India-Internal or India’s External Relations directly), as e.g. assessments of India and/or comparisons between India and China.
The last category “OTHERS”, originally a catch all category for any left over items, is now used for items on countries other than India, viz. countries in the SAAARC region.
It is expected that all entries would fit into one or the other of the five categories. (If not, the classification would need to be modified suitably to accommodate any possible outliers.) The number in brackets after each category at the bottom of the page indicates the number of entries falling under that particular category.
The categories are not mutually exclusive — some overlap and concurrent categorisation is therefore not ruled out. In such cases, the entry would figure in multiple categories. The total of the figures in brackets after each category thus exceeds the total number of items. By and large, the overlaps between the five main categories are expected to be much fewer than overlaps between sub-categories –i.e. while many items might straddle sub-categories, few are expected to fall in more than one main category. (The latter is, however, by no means an impossibility.)
Students and researchers are welcome to put queries regarding the above framework, if any aspect is not clear. So also regarding the actual classification of any particular item, if it does not appear to be correct/clear, to them, as this exercise does, in the ultimate analysis, involve a judgement and there could be differences of opinion. It is clearly not possible to go into the details of all aspects and considerations underlying classification of each item a proiri.
[Thus e.g. items on terrorist etc. incidents in J&K are classified under INDIA INTERNAL — J&K, and not INDIA EXTERNAL — PAKISTAN (unless Pakistan is mentioned in the item in a non-peripheral way, explicitly or in a manner implying that it pertained to an issue between India and Pakistan. In that case, the entry would be concurrently classified under INDIA EXTERNAL — PAKISTAN also). Also such items would, normally, not figure under INDIA INTERNAL — LIFE — LAW & ORDER, if they are covered under ‘TERRORISM” OR “J&K.
Likewise, in respect of the distinction between the three categories INDIA-CHINA RELATIONS, INDIA EXTERNAL — CHINA, and PERCEPTIONS. The first, INDIA-CHINA RELATIONS, is the category covering items on actual developments in bilateral relations, i.e. on substantive/functional aspects of the bilateral relationship. The second, INDIA EXTERNAL — CHINA, is used for classifying items with a bearing on India-China Relations but which are not directly on any functional aspect of bilateral relations as e.g. official statements about the situation in the South China Sea or implications/fallout of developments in India-Nepal relations on India-China relations and so on. And the category PERCEPTIONS is meant to cover items that are purely perceptional — stemming from either side, Indian or Chinese (or third parties) — as distinct from substantive/functional or indirect aspects covered by the other two categories. There is naturally no hard and fast rule separating these three categories, particularly the first two, and occasionally an item might figure in more than one or even all three.]
Chinese/English or both: The red/green stars against each entry indicate whether the item was published in the Chinese press or the English language news platforms. In case of items carried by both language media, the entry is starred both red and green — red-green for those published in Chinese first (or simultaneously) and green-red for those published in the English language platforms first.
As would be noticed, such items are few and far between — but, even so, feedback on any that might not have been so identified and missed out would be most welcome.
Linked Posts: Different entries on the same theme are linked to each other as “Linked Posts”.
Cross Referencing/Source: While a beginning had been made with cross-referencing of entries – for sister publications which carry the same item/article – and identifying their source as a service to researchers, both these aspects have had to be put on hold due to paucity of resources.
Page Number/Prominence: So also with identification of the page on which the item/article appears in the newspaper or journal, which was meant to give some idea of the prominence given to the item in the newspaper that carried it. This exercise has also been possible on a partial basis only.
After some experimentation initially, the Chinese text is being featured now in the form of a scanned image of the entire page on which the item appears to enable an overall assessment of the prominence accorded to it on the Chinese side.