China Africa Press Forum focuses on symbiotic relationship

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The China Africa Media Forum that included officials from China and media house representatives from the selected African countries was held in Johannesburg on Monday August 14.
During the meeting held at The Michelangelo Hotel, Guo Weimin, Vice Minister of the State Council Information Office of China, said that China and Africa, who are closely working in various fields, should expand their cooperation in media.
He said that the media is greatly influential and leads the relationship of the China and Africa. “Media places a significant role for the relationship of both China and the continent of Africa,” he added.
“You have to pay close attention to reporting on each other and to reach practical experience,” the Vice Minister said.
He said that Chinese media outlets are providing a wide range of coverage about Africa that is magnifying the good and developing image of the continent, which is unique when compared to other media.
Media is important bridge to enhance the people to people relationship between China and Africa, according to the Vice Minister.
African journalists who spoke at the event said the relationship between China and Africa is based on mutual respect and confidence.
Long lasting friendship is the focal point on the African continent and the sub continent of Asia, according to Guo.
At the event Chinese main media stream leaders expressed their views about Africa. The media leaders that represent China Daily, CCTV Africa, China News Service, People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency and China Radio International Africa, talked about their reporting trend about Africa and participated in the discussion consisting of topics on understanding, collaboration and prosperity.
African counterparts also discussed the relationship of China and Africa and their expectation in the future on the economic, social and political arena.
The Chinese officials who arrived in Johannesburg to attend the event said that institutions are focusing on Africa and reporting about Africa.
“The goal is to break through the stereotype to report on the real Africa,” he said. “A lot of stereotype impressions were brought by the western media,” he added.
At the same time African media and journalist are actively learn about China and report China.
Several African journalists have got the chance to get training in chain and know more about China.
The Chinese government invites 1,000 African journalists each year to attend various training and learning activities. Since the start of the China Africa Press Center Project in 2014 there are four groups with a total of almost 100 journalists from Africa main stream media that studied exchanged and work in the center, which largely promotes the understanding and knowledge about Chinese national conditions.
Deepening mutual trust, strengthening practical cooperation and promoting communication and enduring actions making joint voice of justice and rationality are the three areas that the media outlets of the two bodies have to expand to go through with mutual and common interests, according to the official of the Chinese the State Council Information Office.
Lin Songtian, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, said that the relationship between China and Africa has expanded in various fields and elaborated the successes that the two sides achieved in the past and the target that they will meet in the future.
“China and Africa need each other and enjoy great potential for cooperation,” Ambassador Lin said.
“For the journalist from China and Africa, you have personally witnessed China-Africa cooperation. Over the years, the stories you have recorded and the stories you have told played an irreplaceable role in the development of the friendship and cooperation between China and Africa, and these efforts will always be remembered profoundly,” he added.
He also mentioned that under the new circumstances, our media people need to adapt to the new situations in order to better serve China-Africa relations.
“This is a pressing task for all of us, and I wish to make three proposals with regard to the roles that our media can play,” he added.
“Through our dialogue today, we have further enhanced our understanding, explored more ways to boost our collaboration as we work closer toward common prosperity of both China and Africa,” Wu Zhiqiang, Deputy Director of Xinhua News Agency China Regional Bureau, said during his closing remark at the forum.
“We in the media have the very important task of narrowing the gap between the realities and the perceptions of Africa among Chinese and Africans. Chinese people’s interest in Africa has been growing steadily and Chinese media outlets’ coverage of the continent has also been expanding steadily,” he added.
Xinhua and Independent Media cooperated to organize the forum.