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China news agency plans English reports in Europe

China news agency plans English reports in Europe

China's official news agency will begin providing English-language television broadcasts on supermarket screens in Europe this week in Beijing's latest move to expose Western audiences to its view of world events, a company official said Monday.
The official Xinhua News Agency, in partnership with about a dozen European broadcast partners, on Wednesday will show 90 minutes of news daily on supermarket screens and on screens outside Chinese embassies across Europe, said Chen Yue, a spokesman for Xinhua's English news department.
"China has recognized the importance of soft power, and through the medium of television and the Internet the Chinese government aims to strengthen its influence internationally," Chen said.
Chen did not give details on which supermarkets would carry the broadcasts, or in which countries. It was also not known what benefit the stores would gain from showing broadcasts from a company that is seen as the propaganda arm of the Chinese government.
The announcement comes after the ruling Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper, the People's Daily, announced plans to expand its coverage and state broadcaster CCTV announced plans to revamp its news broadcasts for the first time in a decade to combat a sharp decline in viewership. The People's Daily launched an English-language edition of its popular Global Times earlier this year.
The moves are believed to be part of a 45 billion yuan ($6.6 billion) government plan to fund a major international expansion of CCTV, People's Daily and Xinhua, as reported earlier this year by Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper.
The Xinhua broadcasts in Europe will consist mostly of 10- to 15-minute news briefs plus a 30-minute feature and lifestyles segment, Chen said. All of the shows are recorded in Xinhua's Beijing studio.
"It's still unclear exactly how many countries and outlets will carry our English news, but we hope to expand these channels greatly with more broadcast partners by the end of the year," Chen said.
He did not give details on the business side of the plan.
Founded 75 years ago as the Red China News Agency and controlled by the powerful party Cabinet, Xinhua has a near lock on the domestic distribution of general and political news to the mainstream media, all of which are state controlled in China.
The Chinese media drive reflects steps already taken by Russia and Qatar to influence international news coverage through their state-funded Russia Today and Al-Jazeera channels. Those attempts to challenge the BBC and CNN have scored some success.


Updated : 2021-06-13 06:56 GMT+08:00