Former New Zealand PM asks media leaders to support Belt and RoadInitiative

BOAO, Hainan- Former New Zealand Prime Minister and now director of the Boao Forum for Asia Jennifer Shipley has challenged media leaders to support globalization efforts, including the Belt and Road Initiative.

"I challenge you to make something for globalization. It is something to be proud of instead of being feared," Shipley said in her speech during the "Media Leaders Roundtable" Thursday night at the start of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) 2017 here.

Shipley said the role of media is necessary to connect the countries along the "Belt and Road" which was initiated by Chinese President Xi Jingping in 2013, to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

"It is important that balance media voice should be heard globally," she said.

Guo Weimin, Deputy Director of the State Council of China, expressed hope that media will continue to support the vision of more inclusive globalization embodied in the Belt and Road Initiative.

"I hope that media could build the bridge of mutual exchanges between different countries along the Belt and Road," Guo said.

Guo said the Belt and Road Initiative has now won the support of more than 100 countries and international organizations, with nearly 50 cooperation agreements signed between governments.

For his part, China Radio International (CRI) Director-General Wang Gengnian stressed that Asian media can do more to improve effectively their capacity of communication and international discourse.

"As new vitality keeps being released in Asia, it is necessary that Asia media work as one, recount the stories of Asia and share their experience, so as to make plans for and share ideas on the enhancement of their capacity of communication," Wang said.

Kim Gunawadh, director-general of the National Television of Cambodia, proposed that an Asian Media Cooperative Organization headquarters be put up in China under CRI's supervision.

Gunawadh believed that the strong presence of CRI both in Asia and many parts of the world could enhance "more cooperation and efficient delivery of information."

The roundtable discussion was attended by media leaders from China, Mongolia, Nepal, Cambodia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, Turkey, Thailand, Russia, Brazil, the United States and New Zealand.

During the discussion, the media leaders agreed that traditional media should integrate with social media by improving creativity and quality of content and form to better inform the people.

In his closing remarks, former ambassador and now China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) vice chairman Zhang Jiuhuan congratulated the media leaders for a fruitful discussion.

"I hope that media will continue to play major role in promoting friendship, cooperation and trust among our people," Zhang said.

The BFA was initiated by former Philippines President Fidel V. Ramos, Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke and former Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa in 1998, to promote regional economic integration and to bring Asian countries closer to achieve inclusive growth and development in the region.

Themed "Globalization and Free Trade: The Asian Perspectives", the ongoing four-day international forum is being attended by over 200 delegates representing government, business, academe and media sectors from Asian region.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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