Decorated with red Chinese knots and lanterns, the media center for the upcoming 17th national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was made available on Monday to both domestic and overseas press.
The media center, based in the Beijing Media Center Hotel adjacent to the headquarters of China Central Television, will handle applications of overseas journalists for covering the congress.
A total of 1,033 overseas reporters from 258 media organizations of 42 countries and regions, including 342 reporters from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, have signed up at the center, and the staff started receiving reporters on Monday morning, according to the center.
"Officers at the center were very cooperative with our interview requests and providing information about the congress," said Yang Chao, deputy director of news department of Taiwan-based Eastern Multimedia Group. "These services show that the mainland is offering increasing transparency to the press.
"Taiwan media keep a close watch on the congress. We will focus our coverage on the review of the past as well as the outlook for the next five years, and mainland's policy towards Taiwan," Yang said.
China's leadership reshuffle and energy issues would be of most interest to Japan's Jiji Press at the congress, said Jitsuko Maruyama, one of the agency's six correspondents to cover the congress.
"We hope our interview requests will be processed more efficiently," said the Mandarin-fluent reporter who is about to cover the second CPC national congress in her career.
The congress convenes once every five years.
The center is divided into seven parts, with a newly-added photo service room and broadcasting service room.
The center will also help arrange coverage of activities related to the congress.
The telephone numbers of the reception office for journalists from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are: (8610)68520600, 68520700; the fax numbers are: (8610)68529200, 68529300.
The numbers of the reception office for foreign journalists are: (8610)68520200, 68520300, 68520500; the fax numbers are: (8610)68576400, 68576500.
An official website for the media center, www.cpcnews.cn, was also launched. The website feeds journalists with the latest news, important reports, high-profile activities and the content of press conferences.
(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2007)