By Justin Mahlahla in Beijing, China
China has pledged its continued support for Zimbabwe, especially in efforts to counter negative Western media reports about the two countries.
This was said by the Director of the State Council Information Office of China, Mr. Jiang wei Qiang, while officially opening a Media and Information Seminar for Zimbabwean journalists in Beijing.
Mr. Jiang said the Chinese media has been paying a lot of attention to reports from Zimbabwe.
â€œWe were grateful when Zimbabwe achieved her independence and on that same day China and Zimbabwe established diplomatic ties.
â€œSince then, China maintains very diplomatic relations with African countries especially Zimbabwe. We have been having successful relations especially in agriculture under the China-Africa Partnership Forum,â€ he said.
He added that there is need to use existing Chinese and Zimbabwean media to counter the negative reports that are being peddled by the West about the two countries.
He said, â€œThe reason we are working very hard is to refute the negative reports such as those churned out by the United States about China and developingÂ countries.â€
Mr. Jiang blamed the western media for sowing discord among developing countries through biased reporting.
â€œAfter our research and analysis we have come to the conclusion that the western media has actually monopolised the world media. This monopoly has caused many discordant reports especially developing countries.
â€œSuch reports have also presented obstacles in our understanding of each other and that is why we believe we must change that,â€ he said.
He said the Asian country and developing countries are co-operating in various areas which include government-led interaction between China and developing countries through exchanges between government institutions and media houses.
Mr. Jiang also said his country seeks to strengthen the exchange of media products between governments including Zimbabwe, personnel exchanges, internships and technological exchanges.
Ms Lu Chang Ming from the Chinese Commerce Ministry also hailed the long-standing friendship between Zimbabwe and China.
â€œOur friendship started when during Zimbabweâ€™s struggle for independence. Our friendship didnâ€™t vanish because of the passage of time,â€ she said.
â€œOur increasing exchanges have enhanced our political understanding of each other. This has added more momentum to our bi-lateral relationship. Our trade volume reached 560 million in 2010.â€
She expressed her countryâ€™s willingness to share with Zimbabwe and contribute to its growth.
â€œWe are ready to share our experience in developing our media with our Zimbabwean friends without reservations,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the Zimbabwean journalists, an official from the Ministry of Media Information and Publicity, Mr. Herbert Marufu, thanked the Chinese government for inviting journalists to attend the seminar.
â€œWe are very grateful for the offer which will go along way in shaping the Zimbabwean media. We will return home having appreciated the bond that exists between our two countries.
â€œWe hope that the media personnel here will help the world to understand the policies and way of life of China and will tell the true story of China.
â€œOur relations date back to the days of our liberation struggle and ore strengthened by such events as the one we are gathered here for today.
â€œThe signing of the MoU between the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and the China Central Television (CCTV) has further strengthened our bilateral ties.â€
The seminar will, among other issues, discuss challenges facing Chinese media and that of developing countries to restructure the current world information system. It is being attended by journalists from both the state and independent media.