China wants exchange of more good news stories

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A senior official of the Chinese Communist Party wants to see an exchange of more 'good news' stories between China and Latin America and the Caribbean as part of a series of steps the country is taking to deepen relationships between the three regions.

At the same time, China has vowed to promote more positive stories about Latin America and the Caribbean and is also opening its doors to countries across the region for partnership in new media technologies. In addition, China is offering scholarships to 500 journalism students over the next five years.

According to Jiang Jianguo, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China, his country wants to strengthen mutual understanding, elevate media communication and cooperation and enhance the sharing of information that is truthful, comprehensive and balanced.

“We have to tell good stories about each other. On the Chinese side, we have to listen more and promote future cooperation. We cannot only give priority to news out of China, but priority must be given to news from within the region,” Jiang said in an address to the 2018 China-Latin America and the Caribbean media forum held November 18 to 20 in Buenos Aires.

Under the theme 'Deepen media cooperation and contribute to building a community with a shared future for China and Latin America', the forum was jointly hosted by China's Xinhua News Agency and the Federal System of Media and Public Content of Argentina.

Jiang's remarks come as China tries to dispel misunderstandings about the country's low-key move to take over the global market. Today, China holds the record for the fastest-developing major country in the history of the world, with no sign of slowing down.

In 2017, the country had a growth rate of 6.9 per cent, three times that of the United States, and is followed closely by India at 6.6 per cent. As the country continues on its growth track, China has been investing billions in infrastructure development across the globe.

The move has, however, raised suspicion among several countries about China's true geopolitical intentions.

But Jiang insists that China only wants to create friendships, promote multinationalism and improve trade with Latin America, the Caribbean and other regions, even as Beijing and Washington engage in a trade war.

“We want to open our doors, we don't want to close them. We want development, not poverty,” Jiang said in addressing 190 heads of news agencies, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television and online media platforms on Monday.

China has already partnered with roughly nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and has further solidified its intention to promote more interaction between the regions with the announcement of a US$900 billion new Silk Road. Announced in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, the brand new double trade corridor is set to reopen channels between China and its neighbours in the west.

After hosting its first International Import Expo in Shanghai, China, earlier this month, the Asian country has expressed its willingness to deepen China-LAC relations by hosting the World Expo 2023 in Buenos Aires. Argentina will become the first country in Latin America and the Caribbean to host an Expo.

“It's a win-win situation,” said Jiang. “We want to pursue innovation-driven development and continuously open up new space for development.”

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