BANGKOK, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines lauded on Monday the media exchanges and cooperation agreement between China and the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as "opportune," saying the agreement will further deepen the understanding among people in the region.
Martin Andanar, secretary of the Philippine Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), said the media cooperation "reaffirms the importance of the multifaceted relations between China and ASEAN."
China and ASEAN released a joint statement on strengthening media exchanges and cooperation here on Sunday after the 22nd ASEAN-China Summit in Bangkok.
Not only will this strengthen understanding and friendship between the nations involved, as 2019 is also designated as the ASEAN-China Year of Media Exchanges, it will also foster growth for each nation's respective media industry through discussions, learnings, and collaborations, Andanar said.
China and ASEAN countries have reached accords on media exchanges and cooperation, including communication on media policies and issues; cooperation on news coverage and materials and information dissemination that strengthens the synergy between China and countries involved; and media content cooperation through co-production of films, TV series, documentaries, and new media content.
"These also aim to encourage participation in the film and TV festivals of China and the said countries; intensify cooperation in R&D in media technology and equipment production; encourage education and training through exchanges and workshops for media professionals from China and ASEAN countries," Andanar added.
He further stressed the importance of the media sector cooperation "at a time when disinformation and proliferation of fake news abound and can harm relations between countries."
Andanar voiced optimism that the exchanges and cooperation will further enhance the skills and capabilities of journalists and media professionals in the region.
"This, in turn, will produce quality media commodities in the forms of films, documentaries, and radio shows, among others, which will be appreciated by the Filipino public," he said.
He expressed the hope that the agreements are only the beginning of deep and fruitful relations that will further elevate the region's media, nurture cultural understanding, and uplift further the region's enlightened populace.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
China, as one of ASEAN's most substantive dialogue partners, is the largest trading partners, a major external source of foreign direct investment, and an important source of tourists of the regional grouping.