Me­dia to play pos­i­tive role in strength­en­ing SCO: Xi

Jour­nal­ists seek more peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes

Global Times - Weekend - - TOPNEWS - By Li Ruo­han Xin­hua con­tributed to this story

The Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (SCO) me­dia sum­mit will play a pos­i­tive role in build­ing up strength for the or­ga­ni­za­tion, said Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping Fri­day.

Me­dia, as an im­por­tant bridge for com­mu­ni­ca­tion, co­op­er­a­tion and peo­ple-to-peo­ple con­nec­tiv­ity among SCO mem­ber states, should make more ef­forts to pro­mote the Shang­hai Spirit, ex­pand prac­ti­cal co­op­er­a­tion and spread friend­li­ness among the peo­ples, Xi said in a con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter to the sum­mit held in Beijing.

“China res­o­lutely sup­ports the de­vel­op­ment of the SCO and is will­ing to join hands with all par­ties to build a more closeknit com­mu­nity with a shared future for the re­gion and pro­mote the build­ing of a com­mu­nity with a shared future for mankind,” he said.

The pur­pose of the me­dia sum­mit was to im­prove peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion, said Xi.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 110 me­dia out­lets from 16 coun­tries at­tended the me­dia sum­mit and shared opin­ions about how to pro­mote fair and balanced re­port­ing of ma­jor is­sues around the world.

“You can­not have peo­ple-to-peo­ple con­nec­tiv­ity un­less you have con­nec­tiv­ity among me­dia. The me­dia are the most im­por­tant part in helping cre­ate the im­age of a coun­try,” Sar­mad Ali, pres­i­dent of the All Pak­istan News­pa­per So­ci­ety, told the Global Times on Fri­day.

“To­day we are liv­ing in the world of fake news, there are also fake news about China, and we need to make joint ef­forts to cre­ate a fa­vor­able en­vi­ron­ment to counter such news,” said Ali, adding that co­op­er­a­tion be­tween me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tions will help cre­ate a more vivid im­age of China and what China stands for in the chang­ing world.

At a panel dis­cus­sion on Fri­day af­ter­noon, re­porters from SCO coun­tries stressed that de­vel­op­ing coun­tries are suf­fer­ing great losses as Western me­dia still hold hege­mony of re­port­ing, while me­dia ex­change among blocs like SCO are im­por­tant to break­ing the sta­tus quo.

The change is not go­ing to hap­pen overnight, and con­tin­ued progress is ex­pected, Alexey Nikolov, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Rus­sia To­day, told the Global Times on Fri­day.

The large num­ber of me­dia out­lets in SCO coun­tries is a pow­er­ful group that can in­tro­duce the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s role and ben­e­fits to the peo­ple in the re­gion, Rashid Alimov, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the SCO, said at the Fri­day’s me­dia sum­mit.

Big­ger block, big­ger mis­sion

The 18th SCO Sum­mit will be held from June 9 to 10 in Qing­dao, East China’s Shan­dong Prov­ince. The sum­mit will be the first since the SCO ex­panded to in­clude In­dia and Pak­istan in 2017.

The in­clu­sion of the two in­flu­en­tial coun­tries in Asia has also brought new de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for SCO, said Alimov.

“In­dia’s in­clu­sion is a very im­por­tant com­ple­ment to the block. In­dia has a very strong re­la­tion­ship with Rus­sia and a very good and long­stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with China,” said K.V. Prasad, as­so­ciate ed­i­tor of The Tribune, the largest daily news­pa­per in North In­dia.

This year’s sum­mit is a chance to ex­plore how In­dia and SCO coun­tries can work to­gether, Prasad told the Global Times on Fri­day. “Coun­tries can dis­agree on a lot of is­sues but mul­ti­lat­eral fo­rums will get them to the ideas of how they can co­op­er­ate on the is­sues of com­mon in­ter­est and take them for­ward,” he said.

Ali said he hopes the SCO sum­mit in Qing­dao will fully im­ple­ment the signed agree­ments, such as agree­ments that pro­mote me­dia and peo­ple-to peo­ple ex­change that are in­clu­sive and prac­ti­cal.

The SCO was es­tab­lished in 2001, with China, Rus­sia, Kaza­khstan, Kyr­gyzs­tan, Ta­jik­istan and Uzbek­istan as found­ing mem­bers. With the in­clu­sion of In­dia and Pak­istan, the eight SCO mem­ber states now ac­count for more than 60 per­cent of the Eurasian land­mass, nearly half of the world’s pop­u­la­tion and over 20 per­cent of global GDP.

Photo: Li Hao/GT

A dance group from Kyr­gyzs­tan per­forms at the Beijing Dance Academy on Fri­day. It was part of the peo­ple-topeo­ple ex­change ac­tiv­i­ties for artists from coun­tries of the Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

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