China outreach should be 'acceptable'

Updated: 2016-04-08 08:05

By Zhang Zhouxiang(China Daily)

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As interactions between China and the rest of the world continue to increase, it is necessary to construct a system of discourse that both insists on China's value and is acceptable to people in other countries, said Cai Mingzhao, president of Xinhua News Agency.

He made the remarks at a forum - "Strategy and Path: Constructing a Discourse System that Links China and the World" - in Beijing on Thursday. The forum, organized by Xinhua, invited senior media researchers and the leaders of several major domestic media outlets to discuss the topic.

"Whatever philosophy a nation has, it must hold the defense of national interests as the guiding principle in its external communications," Cai said. "That requires us not only to tell stories but also to tell them in a way that's acceptable to people in other countries."

For example, the human rights topic had been dominated by Western nations and Western media outlets, he said. After China raised ideas about the right to survival and development - a view echoed by other developing economies - its influence on the global human rights stage expanded. In building influence, it is essential to find and amplify feelings that Chinese people share with the outside world, he said.

Shi Anbin, vice-dean of the School of Communications at Tsinghua University, emphasized the need for a strategic initiative, which he said was an essential tool of a state to set agendas.

"As transparency and public participation are high in the media today, a traditional strategic initiative faces both challenges and opportunities," he said. Requirements for domestic media outlets are higher, Shi said, expressing his hope that Chinese media will construct a framework on certain issues to influence the international community's attitudes.

Hu Zhengrong, vice-president of China University of Communications, said talent is important to the media, and it's the role of colleges to cultivate it.

"Especially, in the age of new media, colleges need to improve so that their graduates master skills and become experts across all media," Hu said.

(China Daily 04/08/2016 page4)