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China offers to help train Latin American, Caribbean journalists

Published:Friday | November 25, 2016 | 11:00 AMAdrian Frater
Chinese President Xi Jinping

SANTIAGO, Chile:

The government of China has given a commitment to help train some 500 media practitioners from Latin America and the Caribbean over the next five years as part of an ambitious bid to create a platform for credible reporting and to help strengthen friendship and cooperation among nations.

Speaking at Tuesday's official opening of the inaugural China-Latin America and the Caribbean Media Summit in Santiago, Chile, Chinese president Xi Jinping said there was a need for collaboration as part of an overall scheme to develop and share mutually beneficial projects.

"Media on both sides can play an important role in inheriting and pushing forward the course," he said. He expressed a desire to see all sides telling their own stories without the input of third parties, which he said sometimes distort information.

Speaking of the negative sides of utilising third-party sources instead of collaborating and telling stories through joint projects, the Chinese president said it could prove counterproductive in the quest to develop greater understanding and friendships.

"If we tell our own stories, a more vivid image of China and Latin America could be unfolded in front of the world," he said. The Chinese president was concluding a goodwill tour of Latin America before he stopped in Chile, the first country in the region with which it established diplomatic ties.

EXCHANGE PROGRAMME

In speaking to the idea of opening up training opportunities for Latin American and Caribbean journalists, Lu Xinning, the deputy editor-in-chief of the respected Chinese newspaper, The People's Daily, said his media house and other publications were looking at a possible exchange programme among Chinese, Latin American and Caribbean journalists.

"For Latin American media organisations, sending journalists and editors to China is an option, while local Confucius institutes are also good places to know more about China," said Lu.

In addition to striving to establish new friendships, understanding and cooperation, the Chinese are also very concerned about how they are be portrayed by the Western media, which they say has a penchant for putting out negative stories about China.

"There have been voices in the international community that derogate the cooperation and friendliness between China and Latin America," said Huang Kunming, the executive deputy director of the publicity department of the Communist Party of China (CPC). "(This) is all more reason why we should coordinate our stances and work together to utter objective and just voices in response to those misinterpretations in a bid to create a favourable public environment for China-Latin America relations."

The two-day Chile summit, which concluded on Wednesday, attracted representatives from more than 100 mainstream media organisations from China, Latin America and the Caribbean.