Analysis: YANG YOUMING
RECENTLY the Chinese Embassy hosted the First China-Zambia Friendship Media Awards. During the event which was graced by the Minister of Broadcasting and Information Services, Kampamba Mulenga, individual journalists and media houses were presented with trophies along with prizes.
The embassy initiated the awards as a way of commending individual journalists and media houses that play unique roles in promoting mutual understanding of the people and traditional friendship between China and Zambia through positive and objective reporting, and to display our deep appreciation.
The awardees were drawn from a cross section of media platforms, both print and electronic such as newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, not only state-owned, but also private media. Such an all-inclusive list of winners clearly demonstrates that promoting China- Zambia friendship and cooperation is not merely the consensus of both of our two governments, but also the common objective of the media of both our countries.
However, while this was the first time to present such awards, the list is far from being complete. We will host the second, third and more media awards to ensure more journalists and media houses are recognised.
In 2017, China and Zambia have enjoyed sound relations with rewarding great achievements. The exchange of high-level visits between our two countries has been frequent. China’s State Councillor His Excellency Mr Wang Yong and Foreign Minister His Excellency Mr Wang Yi paid successful visits to Zambia. Her Excellency Madam Inonge Wina, Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia, and Hon. Justice Dr Patrick Matibini, Speaker of the National Assembly, also made fruitful trips to China respectively. China and Zambia have strengthened their mutual support on international and regional affairs and the mutual political trust has reached a new height. China supports Zambia’s efforts in playing a positive role in promoting regional common development and maintaining regional peace and security. China appreciates Zambia’s efforts in resettling refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is willing to offer assistance. Furthermore, to support Zambia to host the 2022 African Union Summit, China has agreed to build a new international conference centre for Zambia.
Under the guidance of the spirit of Johannesburg FOCAC Summit, the bilateral economic and trade cooperation between China and Zambia has forged ahead on a fast track. From January to September this year, the bilateral trade volume amounted to US$2.7 billion. China’s investment in Zambia has maintained a constant growth. A number of key cooperation projects have been making real progress. The bilateral cooperation in the fields of people-to-people exchanges, including media exchanges, and education is continuously strengthened, and the public support for China-Zambia friendship is further consolidated.
Journalism is a profession most sensitive to social development and changes. During the past year, our Zambian friends from the media have keenly followed and captured the rapid development and changes in China, as well as the ongoing expansion and deepening of the comprehensive China-Zambia relationship. It is heartening that Zambian media houses have sent correspondents to China to cover the sessions of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese Political Consultative Conference (NPC&CPPCC), and the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and actively present today’s China to local readers. I am also glad to see that an increasing number of reports on the progress of the pragmatic cooperation projects between China and Zambia appear on the local media. The various functions held by the Chinese Embassy in Zambia have become an important part of the media coverage as well. These reports have significantly promoted the understanding and knowledge about China among the local readers. Not long ago, the Exhibition of “The TAZARA: A Monument of Friendship for 40 Years” held at Lusaka National Museum was extensively reported by both Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation and China Central Television in their prime news programmes. I hope there will be more such positive “hot stories” in the future.
We will soon bid farewell to the year 2017 and welcome 2018. For China, 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of comprehensively implementing the reform and opening policy and switching the country to the fast track for development. Meanwhile, 2018 will also mark the beginning for the full implementation of the strategic plan made by the 19th CPC National Congress. The New Year therefore will be of great historical significance for China to inherit the past and open up to the future. China will embark on a journey to build socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era and strive towards building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects and a great modern socialist country. As for Zambia, Government has adopted the 7th National Development Plan this year, and is working hard to promote the strategy of economic diversification next year and beyond.
Both China and Zambia are focused on development, and they are highly complementary in terms of cooperation in almost all areas. These factors will create completely new opportunities for the friendly cooperation in all fields. I am full of confidence about the development prospect of China-Zambia relations in 2018 and it is my hope that journalists will bring their own unique strengths to full play, to write more reports on China- Zambia relations which are positive, objective in content and diverse, vivid in style, so as to inject more positive energy into the traditional friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Zambia.
The author is the Chinese Ambassador to Zambia.