Journal of Geo-information Science ›› 2021, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (2): 351-363.doi: 10.12082/dqxxkx.2021.200294

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The Analysis Method of Changes in "Global-China" International Relations during the COVID-19 Event based on News Data

XUE Haonan1,2(), ZHANG Xueying1,2,*(), WU Mingguang1,2, CAO Tianyang1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment, Nanjing Normal University, Ministry of Education, Nanjing 210023, China
    2. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2020-06-09 Revised:2020-07-23 Online:2021-02-25 Published:2021-04-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Xueying;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41631177);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41671393);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971337)


The outbreak of the COVID-19 event has been a major international concern since the first case was discovered in December 2019. After mid-to-late February 2020, the daily number of newly diagnosed cases abroad has increased rapidly, showing the characteristics of a pandemic disease. Under the deep impact of the COVID-19 event, the international relations are intricate and ever-changing. The instability and uncertainty of international relations have increased dramatically and have brought profound changes to the economy, security, and diplomacy. A comprehensive and timely analysis of "Global-China" international relations and its changing characteristics has important reference value for China's diplomatic development planning. Complex international relations can be split up into a series of event units. News data contains key information such as time, location, people, things, etc. It is the most direct and comprehensive source of information for constructing events. The GDELT ( Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone ) is a free and open news database which monitors news from print, broadcast, and online media in the world then analyzes the texts and extracts the key information such as people, location, organization, and event. From the perspective of "Global-China", this paper takes GDELT as the data source and uses global news data about the COVID-19 event from January to May 2020 to analyze the changes in international relations. First of all, the characteristics of international relations, such as intensity, similarity and polarity, are consistent with emotions. According to Plutchik's wheel of emotions, this paper provides a representation and calculation model of international relations to solve the problem of ambiguity in representation and the difficulty in calculation, using key variables including the number of events, the intensity of events, and the number of mentioned events. Then, the features of the changes in international relations are obviously displayed from the perspective of spatio-temporal visualization. Finally, this paper analyzes the causes of changes in international relations by important international events during the COVID-19 event. The results show that the analysis method can accurately reveal the development degree of the "Global-China" international relations during the COVID-19 event and find out the rules and causes of changes and has important application value. This paper can provide a new perspective for the exploration of international relations and a reference for the analysis of news data in the era of big data. And it shows the great potential and broad prospect of the research on international relations of big data.

Key words: the COVID-19 event, GDELT, the representation of international relations, the calculation of international relations, the analysis of changes in international relations, "Global-China", spatio-temporal visualization