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Hu Jintao’s Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the World Media Summit

The World Media Summit (WMS) was held from October 8 to October 10, 2009. Xinhua News Agency initiated and hosted the event; a number of major media organizations were cosponsors.

 According to the website of the WMS, “During the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, Xinhua President Li Congjun held a series of talks with the Chairman and CEO of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch, AP President Tom Curley, Reuters News Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger, Kyodo News President Satoshi Ishikawa, and BBC Director General Mark Thompson. They discussed the challenges world media organizations are facing in the digital and multimedia era. They exchanged views on increasing exchanges and enhancing cooperation in a win-win context, and reached a consensus on sponsoring the World Media Summit (WMS) at the right time.

“Xinhua President Li Congjun will serve as the Executive Chairman of the WMS. News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, AP President Tom Curley, Reuters News Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger, Kyodo News President Satoshi Ishikawa, ITARTASS President Vitaly Nikitich Ignatenko, BBC Global News Director Richard Sambrook, Turner Broadcasting System’s Asia Pacific President Steve Marcopoto, and Google Global Vice President John Liu will act as Co-chairpersons.

“Xinhua News Agency will cover the cost of holding the summit in Beijing. The host will not charge any fee from participants. Participants should cover their own international flights in line with the international common practice while the host shows special hospitality by providing free food, lodging and local transportation for two participants of each organization in the city.” [1]

On October 9, 2009, Chinese President Hu Jintao addressed the opening ceremony of the World Media Summit. Here is the English translation of the speech. [2]

Ladies, Gentlemen and Friends,

October is the golden harvesting season. In this great season, representatives from media outlets from around the world have gathered in Beijing for the World Media Summit. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, sincere congratulations to the World Media Summit! A warm welcome to our participating friends!

In today’s world, with the rapid development of the social economy and technologies, the transfer and acquisition of information has become faster and faster, the global media industry is facing unprecedented changes, and media is becoming more and more important in our social lives. This summit, under the theme of “Cooperation, Action, Win-Win and Development,” reflects concerns about the challenges the global media industry is facing, demonstrates the willingness of all media to enhance exchanges and cooperation and seek common development, and shows the resolve of media staff to commit themselves to promoting world peace and development. I believe, with in-depth discussions and extensive exchanges focused on the theme, the meeting will help strengthen cooperation among media organizations from around the world, boost the healthy and orderly development of the global media industry, and deepen mutual understanding and friendship among people of all nations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The world is undergoing great development, transformation, and adjustment. With the profound development of multi-polarity and economic globalization, worldwide exchanges of ideologies and cultures are becoming more frequent and active, the concepts of open cooperation and win-win mutual benefit are being commonly acknowledged, and interconnections among nations are becoming much closer. In the meantime, the adverse impact of the global financial crisis continues, development has become more imbalanced among different areas, global issues such as climate change, food safety, and energy resource security have further manifested, untraditional safety threats such as terrorists, cross-nation organized crime, and severe pandemic diseases are still around, regional conflicts and hot issues continue to appear, and unstable and uncertain factors are increasing, creating many challenges for world peace and development.

In the face of unprecedented opportunities and challenges, the world media should keep up with the trend of the times, join hands to march forward, and make efforts to contribute to a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity.

First, the media should use their distinctive assets and advantages to convey the messages of peace, development, cooperation, mutual benefit, and tolerance. All media organizations should be dedicated to the lofty cause of pushing forward peace and the development of human beings, promoting all countries to respect each other and consult with each other on an equal footing politically, to cooperate with complementary advantages economically, to learn from each other and seek a common ground while accepting differences in cultural exchanges, to increase mutual trust and cooperation in maintaining security, and to help each other for advancement in environmental protection, so as to jointly create a better future for mankind. Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, the world’s media should comprehensively cover the measures taken and the achievements as all countries – in the same boat in times of trouble – have strengthened cooperation and worked together to overcome difficulties. This is the way the media can contribute to the recovery and healthy and stable development of the world economy.

Second, the media should uphold the ideas of equality, mutual trust, mutual benefit, and common development, to better facilitate exchanges and cooperation. The media around the world, regardless of their cultural backgrounds, abilities, and sizes, should respect and trust each other, treat others as equals, seek common ground while shelving differences, and learn from each other through exchanges. The world’s media should fully consider each other’s practical situations, respond to each other’s appeals through consultation, take into account each other’s interests, keep a balance between competition and cooperation, and strive to be mutually complementary, helpful and beneficial. They should share successful experiences, create a favorable environment for development, work together to cope with challenges, and seek common development.

Third, the global media should uphold social responsibilities to promote the true, accurate, comprehensive, and objective communication of information. In today’s world, the radiating effect of the media to international politics, the economy, society, culture, and other areas is increasing and its influence over people’s thinking, work, and life is deepening. Just for this reason, it is more important than ever before that the media should establish and uphold social responsibilities. For the media to be widely accepted and respected, and to increase their credibility and influence, they should constantly abide by basic journalistic principles, and objectively report the reality of the multi-polarity of the world, economic globalization, and diverse civilizations. They should fully reflect the main aspects and trends of development in various countries and passionately encourage the development and progress of developing countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Several days ago the Chinese people celebrated the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. With the unremitting efforts over the past six decades, especially over the past three decades since the reform and opening up, both China and the Chinese people have experienced historical changes. Today, China’s overall national power has significantly increased, the Chinese people live a relatively comfortable life, and the nation has burst forth in unprecedented dynamism and creativity. In the meantime, we soberly keep in mind that China is still the world’s largest developing country, and faces conflicts and problems rarely seen in terms of their scale and complexity. China still has a long way to go before it can build a well off society that can benefit more than one billion people, and achieve basic modernization and common prosperity for all of its people. China will start from its national conditions, adhere to the path of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, promote comprehensive development in the economic, political, cultural, social and ecological arenas, go all out to ensure that the development is for the people, and by the people, and that the fruits of development are shared by the people. China will unswervingly walk along the path of peaceful development and uphold an open strategy based upon mutual benefits and win-win cooperation. China will seek friendly cooperation with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence.

In the course of advancing the reform and opening up drive and building socialist modernization, the Chinese government always gives top priority to the media’s development, encourages and supports the Chinese media to play important roles in different areas, such as getting close to reality, life and people, developing innovative concepts, contents, forms, methods, and means, increasing its affinity, attraction, and inspiration to people, upholding social integrity, understanding social conditions and public opinion, guiding (public views on) social hot issues, diverting public emotion, doing well at media supervision, and guaranteeing the people’s right to be informed, to participate, to be heard, and to oversee. The Chinese government supports Chinese media to strengthen its exchanges and deepen its cooperation with foreign media in areas of news broadcasting, human resources, information technology, business development, and so on. Now, more and more foreign media, including the ones represented by most of our friends here, send resident reporters to China, and the number of journalists who visit China temporarily has increased dramatically also. The reporting on China by foreign media covers more and more information and areas, with richer and richer content, playing an important role enabling all people around the world to understand the development and changes in contemporary China. We will continue to make government affairs public, enhance information distribution, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of foreign news organizations and reporters, and facilitate foreign media coverage of China in accordance with China’s laws and regulations. We sincerely hope that the media in the world can make new contributions to increasing the understanding people around the world have of China and to consolidating and developing friendship between the Chinese people and the people throughout the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is the inevitable choice for the media around the world to share the same fate with the world’s people and with the development of the era. I believe that through the joint efforts of our participating friends, this summit will certainly achieve great results in strengthening exchanges and deepening cooperation among different media around the world, and will make a significant contribution to the development of the global media industry.

Thank you everyone.

 [1] World Media Summit Website
 [2] Xinhua News Agency, October 9, 2009