China sees key role for media in partnership with Latin America & Caribbean

"We want trade, not war. We want growth and cooperation, not poverty. We don't want more hurdles or challenges. Our doors are open."

That was the closing statement delivered by Jiang Jianguo, the Deputy Head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China today, at the opening ceremony of the China- Latin America and the Caribbean Media Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

This is the 3rd edition of the meeting which is meant to foster greater cooperation between the Chinese media and their Western Hemisphere counterparts.

Jainguo's statement to the 100 participants set the tone for the 2-day conference, this morning.

During his address, he spoke about China's increased presence in the region and the expansion of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which now includes the Latin American and Caribbean region.

He stated, "as we continue to promote the corporation between Latin America and the Caribbean, the media has an important role".

For Jainguo, today's discussion was about "meaningful dialogue and preparation for the future".

He added, "we are writing a new chapter of cooperation in the region, it is going to be bigger and greater, but as that cooperation grows, the media involvement must grow with it".

In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the region and identified media cooperation and participation as a key component to the success of the expansion of the Belt and Road initiative.

Today, his government representative reiterated the vision and continued to emphasize the importance of the exchange of information and dissemination.

"We have to tell good about each other, we have to tell stories about our plans for today and the long term," he said.

To Jainguo, the media holds the key to cultural access and acceptance.

"Our stories are contributing to the knowledge of the people, it is how the people see and understand each other."

On the issue of collaboration and storytelling, the government representative said "we will like to promote more Chinese news out of China and we will also like to give priority of news coming out of the region."

He continues to insist that China's doors are open and is optimistic long-term relationships will be formalized to promote information sharing in the future.

- by Hema Ramkissoon in Buenos Aires, Argentina

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