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Better services for overseas media promised
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The country will have a more open attitude toward the world and ensure better services for the media in the future, the top information official said yesterday.

China has become increasingly integrated with the world, and that has created the need to "strengthen the relationship and cooperation with the global community with a more open attitude", State Council Information Office (SCIO) Minister Cai Wu said.

Speaking at a press conference, he hinted that the easing of reporting rules for foreign journalists for the Beijing Olympic Games could continue.

Many important events, including the Olympic Games and the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening up, will mark next year. And about 30,000 foreign journalists are expected to be in Beijing next summer for the Games alone.

Cai said his office is helping train local news officials to better serve the media.

The training is aimed at changing the mentality of news officials and government leaders at different levels and preparing them to face the outside world more openly.

The office has already trained news officials from 31 provincial capitals and municipalities, he said, and the program will be expanded next year to include city level media officials.

The country implemented a new set of regulations on reporting in the run-up to and during the Olympics from this year. They stipulate that from this year to the end of the Games overseas reporters only need an interviewee's permission to conduct an interview.

"But no document says that when this new regulation expires on October 17, 2008, we are going to return to previous regulations," Cai said, hinting at the continuation of the arrangement.

The regulations have been implemented well and yielded good results, he said. Journalists can be assured of better services because it will be implemented in a more comprehensive way.

"If practices show that it will help the international community know China better, it is a good policy. Why should we change it?"

Cai said the government news briefing mechanism has made major progress this year, with more ministries giving regular briefings and some local governments providing in-time and authoritative information on emergencies.

Next year, the Ministry of National Defense will set up a department for news briefings, too.

It will release white papers on national defense, climate change, legal development, science and technology policies, drug control, and conservation culture next year to convey China's policies and standings in the fields, according to Cai.

(China Daily December 28, 2007)

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