April 21st, 2011 | Xinhua Senior CPC official encourages Chinese, African media to enhance exchanges, deepen cooperation
Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s Political Bureau, on Thursday attended the China- Africa Media Conference in Nairobi, urging media from both China and Africa to further promote cooperation, facilitate mutually beneficial exchanges and enlarge cooperative areas.
The conference attracted dozens of representatives from leading Chinese and Kenyan media houses to attend and share their comments and opinions on deepening China-Africa media cooperation. The participants included China’s People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, CCTV, CRI and Kenya’s major media such as Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Nation Media Group, Standard Group, Royal Media Services, Kenya Today and Diplomat East Africa.
During the conference, Li said media from China and Kenya both cherish strong wishes to further develop media and people-to- people exchanges, adding that the traditional friendly China- Africa and China-Kenya relations have created sound bases for closer media cooperation in the future.
He said 600 years ago, great Chinese navigator Zheng He sailed the largest fleet at that time to Kenya and other East African destinations and brought silk, porcelain, tea leaves and most importantly friendship of Chinese people to this continent, which is an clear evidence of the long history of China-Africa exchanges.
The Chinese senior official describe China-Africa relations as inherent friends which were connected by similar historical experiences in the past and facing same development tasks under the circumstances of economic globalization. He said that China and Africa are friends, great partners and trustworthy brothers.
Li praised the progress and achievements of media and cultural exchanges from the two sides as fruitful and productive, citing visits of Chinese and African performance groups, human resources exchanges plan and Happy Chinese New Year activities in the past years. With regard to media exchanges, he said China’s State Council Information Office has in succession held seven sessions of the Seminar for African Press Officials and Journalists which have in total attracted 208 participants of press officers and media executives from African countries.
He stressed that the role played by media exchanges in enhancing understanding and communication of peoples is irreplaceable and will be a key element of national development and social progress, noting that China will actively implement the Sharm El Sheikh Action Plan (2010-2012) which outlines promises made by China and African countries in terms of cultural cooperation.
He called on media from China and Africa to form direct connection to promote friendship, strengthen cooperation of the two peoples and also in a bid to transfer much more news stories covering development in Africa which shows the latest changes and new images of the continent to Chinese people. Meanwhile, Li also welcomed more African media houses to set up offices in Beijing, capital of China, with the aim of facilitating their coverage on China.
Li encourages media from China and Africa to build partnership to push forward resouces-sharing, promote more training courses and accelerate exchanging of broadcasting programmes and technology transferring.
Echoing Li’s suggestions, Ezekiel Mutua, Director of Information and Public Communication, Ministry of Information and Communications of Kenya, said the conference was evidence to the full upgrading of China-Kenya media cooperation. He said that Kenya boasts the most active group of media in East African region, which offers great potential for further China-Kenya media cooperation.
Mutua pointed out that China-Kenya media cooperation has a long history which was spearheaded by China’s Xinhua News Agency. For the past few years, he said that Kenyan media have been receiving timely, comprehensive and objective news stories on international news events from Xinhua News Agency, adding that Kenyan media is keen on forming much closer cooperation with China in the future.
Wang Chaowen, general director of Xinhua News Agency African Bureau, in his written speech briefed Li and other attendants from Chinese and Kenyan media houses about the current operation situation of Xinhua News Agency in Sub-saharan Africa, saying that Xinhua News Agency truly appreciates the lasting support rendered by Kenyan media friends and he hoped that this conference could serve as the new foundation for bettering China-Kenya media cooperation and exchanges.
After China-Africa Media Conference, Li also held meeting with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, during which the two sides exchanged ideas on promotion of bilateral relations in various fields.
Li concluded his visit to Kenya on Thursday and headed to Mozambique to continue his five-nation trip which also takes him to Armenia, Romania, and Slovenia.