Media Forum held for cooperation among BR countries

By Nandalal Tiwari, Gansu (China), Sept. 19: With a view to enhancing media cooperation among the countries, particularly in the countries along the China-initiated Belt and Road Initiative, the 2017 Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road kicked off on Tuesday here in the Dunhuang city of northwest China’s Gansu province.

Some 265 journalists and think tanks from 126 countries including Nepal participated in the Forum, one of the largest annual gathering of the journalists from around the world since the last four years.

The Forum was organized by People’s Daily, China’s official newspaper, in the city known for a key transit point, which also falls amid the Gobi desert, along the ancient Silk Road.

A 14-member international study center focused on B and Road (BR) issues and media cooperation was also launched amidst the Forum by the People’s Daily today while another 11-member BR Media Cooperation and Cross-border Joint Reporting Project has also been launched to push forward the BRI issues and enhance media cooperation.

Delivering his opening remarks, Zhang Ping, vice-chairman, standing committee, 12th National People’s Congress, said that BRI had become a concrete action plan now as 193 countries had approved the BRI through the UN resolutions and some 69 countries and international organisations had already signed Memorandum of Understanding with China to materialize the vision of BRI.

“I hope media can play the role of propeller for cooperation in the BR as it is the ambassador of culture and friendship. This Forum will enhance communication to push forward peace, learning, mutual benefit among the BR countries as the BR focuses on extensive consultation, mutual benefit and community of shared destiny,” Zhang said.

Yang Zhenwa, president of the People’s Daily, said the media house would take six specific actions to promote media cooperation including releasing of a blue paper on Belt and Road media cooperation, launching an international research center, starting a Belt and Road media cooperation center and a Belt and Road joint interview mechanism, establishing a cooperation union for Belt and Road regional cooperation, setting up a culture research institute, and publishing the English version of the book series Ode to Silk Road.

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

The Belt and Road Initiative has created a new concept for global governance, broadened room for international cooperation, and set a model in which different civilizations could learn from each other, Yang said.

He said People’s Daily had already signed MoU with 33 media houses of 26 countries for cooperation and that it would sign MoU with many other media outlets of the other countries along the BRI.

He highlighted on the need to integrate data base of BR countries to facilitate cooperation and enhance development.

Lin Duo, secretary of CPC Gansu provincial committee, said that Gansu would play a vital role in promoting the BRI as it falls along the ancient Silk Road.

Pavel Negoitsa, general director, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Russia, said that the Forum would help in exchanging ideas to promote BR. ‘Both cultural ties and economic cooperation are equally important in this regard”.

Chairman of China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy (CIIDS), Zheng Bijian, stated that the BRI was for reforming the economic world order by pushing forward economic globalization to a new height through win-win cooperation.

In his keynote speech, Bloomberg News Asia Pacific senior executive editor, Otis Bilodeau, viewed that the BRI was a critically important initiative for global development and that Bloomberg had been participating in the Media Forum for the last three years and informing its audience about investment opportunities in China.

Senior advisor of the Daily Mail and General Trust, Guy Zitter, stressed on the need to education world on BRI and make people benefit of the grand development initiative pushed forward by China. “I hope Chinese President Xi Jinping will not care much about the anti-development noises that are occasionally heard in my country.”

Three plenary sessions on different themes were held during the Forum. In the session 1 entitled Global Media Cooperation: New Vision and New Mission, the panelists representing media houses from countries such as China, the UK, Argentina, Russia, Japan, Canada, Prtugal and Malaysia discussed about ways to strengthen importance of mainstream media in the face of the new media.

“We need to uphold the significance of mainstream media in this age of internet and new media,” said editor-in-chief of the Global Times, Hu Xijin.

In the session 2 entitled Media Convergence: New Concept and New Technology, journalists and think tank from China, Italy, Austria, and Australia discussed about how media houses and journalists were adapting to new technology for dissemination news and views in the face of revolution in information technology.

Likewise, in the third session entitled Impacts of the BRI on Global Economy: New Dynamic and New Opportunity, the panelists from Germany, France, Reuters, Bloomberg and Russia and talked about importance of BRI for promoting global cooperation, free and fair trade in the wake of increasing protectionism.

The panel discussions concluded that the BRI had presented a new solution for global integration and that media had a great role to play to foster public understanding about the benefits of the BRI.

The fifth Forum will be held in Hainan province of China in 2018.


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