Chinese, Pakistani media need regular linkage

By Lauren Ratcliffe & Zhou Jing
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 16, 2011
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Staring each other down across at a Beijing meeting hall Thursday, members from Pakistani and Chinese media met to hear discussions about cooperation between the two countries. With this year marking the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan, people on both sides recognized the important role media could play in the future.

CIPG president Zhou Mingwei addressed at the forum[]

Zhou Mingwei, president of China International Publishing Group (CIPG), speaks at the Forum on the 60th Anniversary of Pakistan-China Diplomatic Relations Media-to-Media Cooperation in Beijng, July 14, 2011. [] 

The two sides met at a forum held by China International Publishing Group and the Pakistani embassy in China to mark 60 years of diplomatic relations. The forum focused specifically on the media's role in the relationship.

Masood Khan, the Pakistani ambassador to China, proposed that media organizations of both countries develop a formal and institutionalized relationship to further promote dialogue.

"I propose that the media organizations go a step forward to develop formal, institutionalized linkage with multiyear calendars," Khan said.

"The media reflect diverse views and opinions. Therefore, the media is not and cannot be monolithic in any part of the world. China and Pakistan try to put across their points of view, they need to develop their own independent and objective perspectives." he said.

He suggested that leading new media in China take an initiative in this regard. In addition to the public sector media, private channels should also explore linkages.

China and Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding on media exchange on June 8, said Adnan Akram, assistant director of External Publicity Wing of Ministry of Information of Pakistan.

Akram said regular visits from the media delegations between two countries have been written into the memo to promote contacts.

CIPG President Zhou Mingwei said media communication would play a unique role in boosting relations.

"The people of the two countries have urgent demands to know each other beyond the barriers of different religion, culture and language, so media cooperation has more opportunities and greater challenges," he said.

He said some Western media have prejudice and misunderstandings on the relationship and cooperation between China and Pakistan, so the two countries' media shoulder important responsibilities. Media exchanges and cooperation will be significant in consolidating and developing the relations of the two nations, he said.

Media can play an important role in the diplomatic side of the relationship by informing citizens and the world about cooperation efforts between the two countries, Khan said.

He noted Chinese efforts to aid Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden. "China was the only country that drew the international community's attention to Pakistan's sacrifices in the war against terrorism, commended our resolve to continue this fight, and urged others to help Pakistan," he said.

He also noted the joint efforts of the two nations in combating extremism and terrorism in all forms, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

"We've been collaborating on ETIM because China and Pakistan have unanimity on views of defeating all forces of terrorism, extremism and separatism," Khan said. "We've produced results, we've deterred them and degraded their capability and potential to harm China."

But Tang Mengsheng, a professor at Peking University, said Chinese and Pakistani media should not only focus on hot topics but also introduce more about the cultures of two countries

It is the media's role to inform citizens about collaborative efforts, and Khan said he sees an important role for the media in ensuring the good relationship between the countries extends into the future.

"We have to transmit this special relationship to the next generation, to the younger generation," Khan said.

He also discussed the emergence of new media and the idea of the global citizen. Because citizens from all countries are talking to each other, the face of media is changing. The change provides a great opportunity for Pakistan and China to further collaborate, he said.

"Media is not just reporting," he said. "They are influencing discourse and decisions."

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