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Dialogue between Xinhua News Agency and the Sri Lankan Media

On 2nd July 2014, the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies hosted a dialogue between the Xinhua News Agency from the People’s Republic of China and the Sri Lankan media. This dialogue was an opportunity to initiate conversation between the Xinhua news organization and local media personnel in order to facilitate mutually beneficial collaboration. Mr. Asanga Abeygoonasekera, Executive Director of LKIIRSS speaking on the occasion, noted that this event was an opportunity to learn from the expertise of the Xinhua News Agency and pointed out that it would further strengthen the already well-established relationship between the two nations.

lk6Mr. Ren Fanqiang, Political Counselor from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Sri Lanka, spoke of the importance of Xinhua in China and how it had always been the main source for news and information. Xinhua, he said, is the voice of the government, standing for professional, sincere attitude and writing of the truth. The spread of Xinhua beyond the borders of China has been a means to foster cooperation between countries. He also spoke of the close friendship between Sri Lanka and China and the support they have shown each other on all fronts whatever the issue at hand. He listed the many achievements of the country in the past five years since the conclusion of the internal conflict in 2009 and how the cooperation between China and Sri Lanka has helped the island nation accomplish even more. He expressed his belief that a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Sri Lanka benefits all and looks forward to a time when Sri Lanka can surpass other countries and claim a position in the sphere of developed countries.

 

The delegation from Xinhua presented on the history of Xinhua and its present status today. Xinhua, being the largest news agency in China, it has also established bureaus and correspondence in over 180 countries. The agency provides different types of products in 8 languages in the form of text, photo and video. They also emphasized the value of the new media market, which is the facilitation of multimedia platforms such as the internet, mobile, indoor and outdoor screen terminals at public venues such as airports and hotels, social media, and the creation of regional news providers such as Asia Pacific Daily which covers fifty countries and aims to become the independent and most important voice of Asia.

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Mr. Wen Xinnian, General Manager of Xinhua News Agency, Asia Pacific Regional Bureau expressed his joy at the occasion of the first dialogue to be held between the Sri Lankan and Chinese media. He expressed his strong affinity with the people of Sri Lanka and their willingness to establish peace and stability in the country. In the context of the relationship between Xinhua and Sri Lanka, he spoke of the fifty years of reporting Xinhua has done on Sri Lanka and expressed the hope to deepen and broaden relations. He suggested two proposals to further the relationship, first being a joint interview in Sri Lanka and China between media representatives from both nations in order to discuss common concerns. Secondly, he proposed initiating cooperation with Xinhua by means of having special page or column within Xinhua news platforms to speak on bilateral relations and relations between the two countries and other nations. Xinhua provides authoritativeness and objectiveness, he said, and as such he invited the Sri Lankan media to look to Xinhua as a source for international news if they ever needed it.


Concluding the session, Mr. Ren Fanqiang once again highlighted, for the benefit of the Chinese delegation present, the advantages of joining hands with Sri Lanka and of the beauty and culture of the country and its people and the potential for Sri Lanka to truly be the great Wonder of Asia.

 

Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations & Strategic Studies

Colombo

3rd July 2014

 

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