Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi yesterday urged Asian media to enhance exchange and cooperation so that the largest continent in the world has a stronger voice in the international arena.
"The media in China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members are in great need of better communication and co-ordination so that Asian affairs can be covered by Asian people while world affairs can be commented on from an Asian perspective," Wang said.
"Our fine traditions and fruits of our civilization can be disseminated to the rest of the world through Asian media."
Wang made the remarks at a seminar on media cooperation between China and ASEAN which was held yesterday in Beijing.
The one-day seminar, organized by the People's Daily, one of the nation's leading newspapers, with the help of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the ASEAN Secretariat, is the first high-level and large-scale exchange between the press in China and ASEAN countries.
Calling for an increase in media coverage to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese people and ASEAN, Wang said media exchanges should become part of the cooperation between China and ASEAN countries.
"China has always stood for democratized international relations. To that end, world media should reflect propositions and claims of all regions and countries in a more objective and balanced manner," Wang said.
Felix Soh, deputy editor of the Straits Times in Singapore, agreed. He said that the information that floods world media is "tainted by Western cultural bias, sullied by Western political bias, colored by Western ideological bias."
About 80 percent of the international news broadcast everyday comes from Western news agencies, said Wang Guoqing, vice-director of the Information Office at the State Council.
"It is not right that Western news agencies control the agenda of the media in a continent with two-thirds of the world's population, or 3.7 billion people," Soh said, adding that Asian media must report on Asia.
He urged his Asian colleagues to upgrade the standard and quality of journalism being practiced in the region and work together to hold off any "information monopoly."
(China Daily September 24, 2002)