By Mark Merueñas
NANNING, China – Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, and China have vowed to strengthen their “bilateral exchanges and partnerships for a shared future, through media innovation and modernization.”
During the 2023 China-ASEAN Media Partners Forum, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam underscored the need for the media to “widely spread the friendly cooperation” between the ASEAN and China.
“Over the past years, our cooperation has yielded fruitful results. I hope the media of ASEAN and China can observe and reflect on our win-win cooperation and recount wonderful stories accurately and vividly through simple words, pictures, short videos and documentaries,” he said in a video address played at the event held in this city in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Tuesday.
He said he was also looking forward to practical cooperation between ASEAN and Chinese media to achieve noticeable results.
Cambodia’s Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, meanwhile, highlighted that partnerships among “cooperative nations” to build a community with a shared future with China could be regarded as a “sound and stable start” for further bilateral cooperation and deeper exchanges.
“Cooperation is a future-oriented cause. I hope that ASEAN countries and China can continuously explore new models of cooperation, enhance multilateral and regional relations, jointly safeguard the righteousness of discourse, improve the influence of media, and galvanize all-around and high-quality media cooperation in terms of young talents training and media technology reform for the prosperity of regional spiritual civilization,” he said.
The forum gathered more than 200 government officials, media leaders, experts, international organizations, and scholars from the ASEAN and China to advance media cooperation in various fields and enhance mutual understanding and trust between the two sides.
This was the first time the annual forum was held in person since the pandemic was declared in March 2020.
Organized by the China Media Group (CMG) and the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the forum aimed to contribute media wisdom to deepen ASEAN-China relations and promote high-quality cooperation in the “Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” which happened to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year.
The BRI is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 to invest in other countries and international organizations.
CMG President Shen Haixiong and Liu Ning, secretary of the Party Committee of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and chairman of the regional People’s Congress Standing Committee, also delivered on-stage speeches during the forum.
China and the ASEAN are linked by mountains, rivers and seas, as well as hearts and aspirations, and are always good neighbors, good friends, and good partners, said Shen.
The event also saw the launch of several breakthroughs in media cooperation between the two sides, including the China-ASEAN Media Complex AI Studio, the ASEAN Zone in the “EtherealSound” application of the CMG, and the Chinese Cultural Digital Images Itinerant Exhibition in ASEAN.
The ASEAN Media Partners tour on Chinese modernization was also launched at the forum, with Ben-Hur Banigued, vice chair of the Board of Directors of People’s Television, Inc., representing the Philippine delegation on stage.
The weeklong media tour will take more than 30 ASEAN media participants around such Chinese localities as Guilin, Liuzhou, Qinzhou, and Beihai, to learn about ecological management efforts to facilitate the respective economies of these areas.
The ASEAN and China have a long-standing and deep-rooted friendship, as they are connected geographically, historically, and culturally.
In recent years, the ASEAN and China media have maintained regular exchanges, contributing to bilateral relations’ steady and far-reaching development.
The Presidential Communications Office has multiple bilateral media and communication agreements with the Chinese government, covering commitments to pursue personnel exchanges, workshops, seminars, information exchanges, rebroadcasts, joint production, and mutual visits.
The CMG is a state media conglomerate unifying government-owned China Central Television (CCTV), China National Radio, and China Radio International.
China Global Television Network, a multi-language channel launched by CCTV, is also included in the merger. (PNA)