News Details
Wang Chen: Journalists Should Be the Traveler, the Bard and the Messenger on the Silk Road

Wang Chen, Vice-chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee

Themed as “Common Destiny, New Visions of Cooperation,” the Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road has opened today in the National Convention Center. Wang Chen, Vice Chairman of the National People's Congress says the “One Belt, One Road” initiative is a great undertaking of many nations, to realize this vision, media should make its rightful share of contribution.

Wang Chen says as China's number one newspaper and a world famous news organization, the People's Daily has hosted three Media cooperation forums on Belt and Road. The forum has become the biggest international media forum hosted by a Chinese mainstream media outlet with the most foreign participants and most representative participation in terms of the breakup of countries. The forums hold great promise in boosting mutual understanding among different countries, increasing media communication and raising media's overall importance in the Belt and Road construction.

Wang says that media should be the traveler on the New Silk Road, spreading the Silk Road spirit and energy. The Belt and Road initiative is increasingly gaining recognition and support. For journalists, this is a good opportunity to be witness to history in the making and to be deep in the tides of our time. Journalists should also be the bards on the New Silk Road, composing legible and relatable stories about the construction of the Belt and Road. Such stories should tell both the old friendship and the new up-to-date everyday events and lives that populate this legendary route. Sharing those stories of common endeavor is an obligation that journalist should not shy away from. Journalists should also be the messengers on the New Silk Road, personify cultural exchanges and enhancing mutual trust between peoples. Only equipped with such a sense of mandate and obligation can journalists of different countries become close friends and colleagues in discovering the common interests shared by different nations. Ultimately, only when these facts of common interest and pursuit become consensus can we hope to reach a bigger consensus towards carrying out the construction of the project.

Wang Chen's complete address to the forum is as follows:

Dear guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen:

It's my pleasure to meet you all here on a bright summer day in Beijing. It's also a great pleasure to be part of this Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road and discuss with media people on how media can cooperate in the reporting of the “One Belt, One Road” construction. First, let me thank you for your coming and extend a warm welcome to the friends that come from afar.

In the fall of 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping first proposed the idea of building a New Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road during his state visits to Central Asia and Southeast Asia. The idea received immediate welcome and support from the international community, especially the countries along the routes’ passing. This year, in his state visits to Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, President Xi proposed the vision of a building a Silk Road network of mutual benefit, a Silk Road vision of cooperation, a Silk Road platform of multilateral partnership and concretes steps to accelerate the construction of major projects. In addition, President Xi also visualizes the future of the New Silk Road as a Green Silk Road, a Healthy Silk Road, a Smart Silk Road and a Peaceful Silk Road. These new definitions and proposals enriched and substantiated the “One Belt, One Road” vision and are set to trigger new discussions and enthusiasm for action in the Belt and Road nations.

Looking back at the three years of development after the Belt and Road's initiation, there are just cooperation principles and concrete results we can be proud of. The partners have steadfastly adhered to the principles of peace, cooperation, openness, tolerance, mutual learning and mutual benefit. At present, there are over 70 countries and international organizations playing an active role in the construction of the Belt and Road. Along with this busy construction activity, China has stricken cooperation deals with over 30 countries. 20 countries have reached agreements with China for joint production cooperation. 17 countries entered into 46 foreign-based joint ventures. Above all, Chinese enterprises have invested an accumulated 14 billion dollars in the Belt and Road countries, creating some 60,000 jobs for the native population. It's justified to say that the “One Belt, One Road” vision is now a dream shared by many countries and peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The old Silk Road is a legacy shared by many nations. It was a route that greatly increased the contact and friendly exchange between different peoples. It was also a route that facilitated trade and the inter-exchange between eastern and western civilizations. Today's New Silk Road is an extension of the old Silk Road spirit but it builds on the former's vitality and strength.

The “One Belt, One Road” expresses common pursuit. Over 2,000 years, the ancient Silk Road and maritime silk route overcome deserts and seas, brought together different nations into dots on a line of friendship. Today, the “One Belt, One Road”, with a conscious vision of inclusiveness and mutual benefit, rekindles the common wish for prosperity and affluence in these nations.

The “One Belt, One Road” upholds communication and mutual learning as a core value. It is not a Chinese solo, but an international chorus. It is not about what China wants to gain and achieve, but what the participating nations can gain and achieve together. China is not building a backyard for itself, but is joining as a part of a bigger garden. This brings many opportunities to many nations and thus is a blessing to the world.

The “One Belt, One Road” manifests the experience of gaining understanding through encounters. People-to-people contact precedes diplomacy. Examples of such brave and remarkable individuals abound on the ancient Silk Road. The famed Han envoy Zhang Qian, the Tang monk Xuan Zang and the Italian traveler Marco Polo were all frontrunners in this regard. The stories they left behind are such convincing evidence of people pioneering the efforts of cultural exchange and inter-civilizational dialogue. The success of the “One Belt, One Road” thus once again hinges on the people, whose mutual understanding and shared vision of common destiny are the proven ways in overcoming cultural barriers.

The “One Belt, One Road” demands and promotes connectivity. If the “One Belt, One Road” can be described as two wings, then connectivity is the blood flow, the arteries. China initiated the “One Belt, One Road” so as to connect the countries through transportation, policy coordination and people-to-people exchange. The initiative envisions the breakdown of geographical and physical distances between participating nations. It also envisions the deepening of mutual trade and investment, the deepening of economic integration and the collective rise of a regional economy.

The “One Belt, One Road will go down into human history as a great new chapter of nations working together for increased friendship, increased cooperation and increased prosperity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The “One Belt, One Road” initiative is solidly based on the principles of mutual benefit and mutual learning. The establishment of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, the inauguration of the “One Belt, One Road” Fund and the implementation and progress of some major projects all refutes the argument that this grand undertaking is a slogan only. Unquestionably, the “One Belt, One Road” is real, with concrete investment and input and tangible benefits for the participants. We are glad to see many media around the globe have been actively reporting on the materialization of this vision. These reports contributed greatly to the mutual understanding between different partners and the consolidation of solidarity. They have helped and will continue helping producing positive public opinion and popular support for the project.

As China's number one newspaper and a world famous news organization, the People's Daily has hosted three Media cooperation forums on Belt and Road. The forum has become the biggest international media forum hosted by a Chinese mainstream media outlet with the most foreign participants and most representative participation in terms of the breakup of countries. The forums hold great promise in boosting mutual understanding among different countries, increasing media communication and raising media's overall importance in the Belt and Road construction. Under the agreed cooperation framework, media organizations should carry on reporting on the “One Belt, One Road” more constructively, more objectively and more accurately.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The “One Belt, One Road” is a joint undertaking of many nations. In order to make this undertaking a story of success, journalists should be the traveler on the New Silk Road, the bard on the New Silk Road and the messenger on the New Silk Road.

We hope that journalists should first be the traveler on the New Silk Road, spreading the Silk Road spirit and energy. The Belt and Road initiative is increasingly gaining recognition and support. For journalists, this is a good opportunity to be witness to history in the making and to be deep in the tides of our time. I was told that journalists participating the forum are invited to visit Gansu after the conclusion of the forum. I personally encourage reporters to travel on the route, experience firsthand the customs, the history and the culture along the Belt and Road. This is a time where one can truly bear witness to the revival and rejuvenation of many ancient civilizations.

Journalists should also be the bards on the New Silk Road, composing legible and relatable stories about the construction of the Belt and Road. Such stories should tell both the old friendship and the new up-to-date everyday events and lives that populate this legendary route. Sharing those stories of common endeavor is an obligation that journalist should not shy away from. This demands that journalists should look at the Belt and Road with a humanistic point of view and put it into the context of human history.

Journalists should also be the messengers on the New Silk Road, personify cultural exchanges and enhancing mutual trust between peoples. Although the Belt and Road countries are broken up by linguistic barrier, cultural difference and physical distance, they also share a common geo-political community, economic dependency and inter-connected cultural links. Only equipped with such a sense of mandate and obligation can journalists of different countries become close friends and colleagues in discovering the common interests shared by different nations. Ultimately, only when these facts of common interest and pursuit become consensus can we hope to reach a bigger consensus towards carrying out the construction of the project.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Peace and development is the trend of our time. The joint efforts of building the “One Belt, One Road” is promoting regional cooperation and joining forces for world peace and development. Yet, we should also be aware that the world is undergoing very complicated changes, the adverse consequences of the world financial crisis continue bearing out. Whereas many countries are burdened with issues of development, some countries are disturbing peace, the only environment in which development is possible. On July 12 this year, the so-called International South China Sea Tribunal rolled out an arbitration that greatly violates China's territorial sovereignty. This arbitration not only contradicts international law, basic facts and justice, it is also a politically motivated maneuver and therefore is devoid of legality. The Chinese government and the Chinese people do not accept this arbitration under any circumstances. The South China Sea islands and islets have been Chinese territory since ancient times. China territorial sovereignty and maritime rights over the South China Sea will not be subject to any such illegal and unjust arbitration. China has always been a steadfast force adhering to and safeguarding international law. It chose the path of peaceful development and has stuck to this path ever since. China's ultimate goal in the South China Sea is to work with countries at issue under the guidance of international law and under the principle of respecting historical facts and peacefully resolve the disputes through negotiations. During the unfolding of this episode, many countries showed understanding of and support for China's stance. Many media also reported on the developments objectively and truthfully, clarified China's stance for the world and defended China's rightful assertions. We are grateful to such objectiveness. We hope more international media would follow the sound principle of objective reporting and stand firmly behind international governance under international law and justice.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to see that under the framework of the forum, media cooperation is bearing fruit. We are seeing more and more sharing of news contents and more jointly conducted interviews. Chinese media outlets will work together with their foreign partners in producing objective and accurate news stories and sound and justified news commentaries. Partners are increasing the use of content produced and recommended by other partners. We also expect more joint cross-border interviews and news production on the “One Belt, One Road” to be taken place. And we expect more exchanges of journalists and media delegations and more purchases of advertisement from each other. Today, many countries are pushing forward media reforms, exploiting new technology in the pursuit of new media platform and new media itself. The Chinese side is willing to share experiences with foreign partners through a stable and steady mechanism. Only such cooperation can pool forces together in facing new challenges.

The Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road offers a big platform where not only journalists but also politicians, businesspeople and academics can dialogue, communicate and forge cooperation deals with each other. I encourage all of you to engage this platform, use this platform and make this platform a productive and high-quality one. I hope through your work, the stories of the “One Belt, One Road” can be told, the voice of the “One Belt, One Road” can be heard and the new chapter of the “One Belt, One Road” can be written.

I wish this forum a great success.

Thank you all.