查看回信留言

首页>News
China needs to step up media campaigns in the Middle East
国务院新闻办公室网站 www.scio.gov.cn   2016-01-26   来源:China.org.cn
  

Shortly after New Year's Day, China's intensive involvement with the Middle East's "political whirlpool" attracted worldwide attention. All evidence suggests that China will play a more crucial role in the reconstruction of the political order in the Middle East.

A visitor takes photos during the "Chinese Lacquer towards the World" exhibition, an exhibition of lacquer art collection from China's Hubei Museum of Art held in Cairo, Egypt on December 15, 2015.(Photo: Xinhua)

It is worth noting that not all Middle Eastern media outlets are currently confident about China's Middle East policy. There is a view in the region that "given China's lack of experience in handling religious and political conflicts that are commonly seen in the Middle East, for China, the Middle East is full of risk." There are also voices accusing China of consistently leaving affairs in the Middle East to other permanent members of the UN Security Council. Such views are not uncommon in the Middle East. China needs to step up media campaigns targeted at the region.

In the early years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, China has handled foreign affairs on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Supplemented by economic diplomacy, the foreign policy emphasizes political and ideological differences. Since the period of reform and opening up, with economic development positioned as a central task, China's diplomacy has gradually shifted from emphasizing politics to growing the economy. It no longer draws lines according to ideology or social systems. As a result, China has kept a low profile in foreign policy and tried to avoid excessive ideological promotion. Compared with the Western powers' promotions of their values in the Middle East, China has benefited from its foreign policy, with barely any negative comments about China in the region. However, the low profile foreign policy has also hindered China's media campaign.

In recent years, guided by Chinese culture's "going out" strategy, the Xinhua News Agency, China Central Television and other Chinese media are actively expanding cooperation with the media platform in the Middle East. However, most of the media campaigns are about China's traditional culture, folk customs, social landscape and plain knowledge about political and economic cooperation between China and the region. There are no systematic explanations regarding China's domestic and foreign policy. Therefore, due to colonial history, the Western media has become a major source for local people in the Middle East to gain "in-depth" understanding about China.

With China's ever-growing influence in the Middle East, we need to talk more about the "China model." Rather than imposing our system on them, it represents a more in-depth and comprehensive self-interpretation to the outside world. The purpose is to reduce the doubt and misunderstanding about China.

Talking more about the "China model" will help the Middle Eastern and Latin American countries to gain a better understanding of China. It is a demonstration of political confidence. The United States has not ceased to promote its values of democracy and human rights even when its surveillance program and prisoner abuse cases have been exposed. It is perfectly fine for China to promote its own beliefs and values. If the Chinese people continue to keep a low profile and avoid talking about the country's development model, it may leave a false impression that "China has no confidence in its own developing pattern that is different from the Western one."

In addition to stepping up promotion about the "China model," our media campaigns should also focus on an interpretation of China's long-term principle of non-interference in others' internal affairs and the open strategy of mutual benefit and win-win results. China's non-interference principle doesn't mean political inaction or supporting dictatorships. Therefore, how to fully explain the differences between the two should be a key subject in China's future media campaign in the Middle East.

In recent years, anti-Chinese sentiment is on the rise in Algeria as the Chinese were scorned as undesirable foreigners who took jobs and resources. The economic and social benefits to the locals brought by Chinese enterprises abroad were often overlooked. The past experience shows that China's economic engagement with the Middle East and Africa can greatly boost the local economy. Take Huawei's subsidiary in Tunisia for example, 80 percent of its staff is represented by local employees. However, due to the lack of enough promotion, the information is rarely known to locals.

Lilia Labidi, professor of Université de Tunis, former minister of women affairs in Tunisia said that although Tunisians wanted to cooperate with China, China was too foreign for them. At present, China is strengthening its cooperation with the Middle East under the "Belt and Road" initiative. Adequate media campaigns would be strong support for the process. This not only requires the Chinese media outlets to enhance their international communication and promotion abilities but also requires the intellectual community to increase interaction with their Middle Eastern peers.(By Zhang Chuchu / a PhD candidate at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge.)

[责任编辑:康小兰 ]
相关链接>>
  • A bright, clear dawn for China's Middle East policy
  • Liu Qibao highlights role of think tanks
  • President Xi's visit a reflection of China's commitment to Middle East peace
  • Chinese president meets Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei
  • China, Iran upgrade ties to carry forward millennia-old friendship
  • China Voice: Chinese wisdom for Middle East problems
  • Photo exhibition held in Iran to show beauty of China
  • News Analysis: Belt & Road Initiative shores up China-Mideast cooperation
  • President Xi meets with Iranian counterpart in Tehran
  • President Xi congratulates China Today's special edition on Egypt
  • China, Egypt eye enhanced people-to-people exchanges
  • Special edition of magazine launched to mark 60th anniversary of China-Egypt ties
  • Photo exhibition held to mark 60th anniversary of China-Egypt ties
  • China to reform old, boost new growth engines
  • Full text of Chinese president's signed article on Iranian newspaper