China to step up media cooperation for Belt and Road initiative

|     Aziz Idris in Dunhuang, Gansu Province, China     |

A MEDIA cooperation centre, involving over 300 international and domestic mainstream media for China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, will be established to further reinforce the links among media practitioners.

This was announced by Yang Zhenwu, President of the People’s Daily, during the launch of the 2017 Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road yesterday, at the Dunhuang International Convention and Exhibition Centre, in northwest China’s Gansu Province.

The event was attended by over 300 media outlets from 127 countries, as well as delegates from the academic and cultural community, making it the largest and most influential gathering of media outlets ever hosted by China’s mainstream media.

Yang also announced the introduction of six specific action plans for the further advancement of media cooperation: the release of a blue paper on the Belt and Road media cooperation; the launching of an international research centre; the establishment of a Belt and Road media cooperation centre, and a Belt and Road joint interview mechanism; the establishment of a cooperation union for Belt and Road regional initiative; the founding of a cultural research institute; and, an English-language publication of the book series, ‘An Ode to Silk Road’.

“In 2013, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, proposed to jointly build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, opening up more opportunities for co-construction and co-sharing, as well as a mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation,” said Yang.

“The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in May has promoted collaborations featuring a wider scope, a greater variety of fields, and a higher standard among participating countries,” he added.

Yang Zhenwu, President of the People’s Daily at the 2017 Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road. – PEOPLE’S DAILY ONLINE

He also noted that the Belt and Road Initiative has created a new concept for global governance and broader prospects for international cooperation while setting a model in which different civilisations could learn from each other.

“The building of the initiative is set to be prosperous,” he said. “Conforming to this trend, the People’s Daily hosted the first Media Cooperation Forum on the Belt and Road in 2014, in a bid to formulate an information expressway, break down emotional barriers, expand the ‘circle of friends’, and form a cultural concentric circle.

“The forum has had a strong magnetic effect, as it has been continuously growing over the past four years. Today, it is the most representative and influential global media gathering among its kind, held by China’s mainstream media.”

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, is a trade and infrastructure network that includes the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, spanning 68 countries to connect Asia, Europe and Africa.

Asean is also an important base for this initiative, since China views this regional bloc as a starting point to create strategic propellers for hinterland development oriented towards the revival of the Maritime Silk Road.