Commentary: How news media can boost China-Latin America relations

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-20 22:03:13|Editor: Liangyu
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by Xinhua writer Yang Chunxue

BUENOS AIRES, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- There's no doubt of the news media's impact across borders and in fostering relations between countries and entire regions. Nowhere is this more true than in the relationship between China and Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC).

During the 2018 China-Latin America and the Caribbean Media Forum that kicked off here on Monday, more than 200 representatives from Chinese and LAC media gathered to exchange views under the theme "Deepening media cooperation, contributing to building of a China-LAC community with a shared future."

The prevailing sentiment at the forum was simple: media exchange and cooperation can help foster friendly China-LAC ties.

Through field coverage and reports in areas such as energy, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, science and innovation, Chinese and LAC media have taken concrete steps to explain the win-win aspects of the relationship.

Just as Jose Juan Sanchez, president of Brazil's CMA group, said during the forum, "The press can help direct the flow of Chinese investment into these areas where there are opportunities."

China is now Latin America's second largest trading partner. According to China's customs authority, bilateral trade between China and LAC has been dynamic, amounting to some 260 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up 18.8 percent year-on-year.

In addition, Latin America is a natural extension of the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Through reports on investment policies, market demands and interests, the media can deliver more comprehensive, specific and efficient information to potential investors. It can help to enhance both sides' enthusiasm for and confidence in bilateral cooperation.

What's more, media cooperation could help expand the influence of developing countries in the international community, and introduce to the world a more realistic image of China and LAC.

Developing countries tend to be the victims of stereotyped and biased reporting by some Western media outlets, which can tarnish a country's image.

Therefore, Chinese and LAC media agencies can play a key role in offering unbiased information and realizing direct and smooth communication between the two sides. They can also jointly work to make their countries' own voices heard on major issues of global importance, fostering a fair and balanced environment.

China and LAC are at a similar stage of development, facing the same challenges, and offer each other development opportunities. Enhanced media communication and cooperation can help promote China and LAC's shared dream of a better future.