The 3rd Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation has been held in Beijing, China, with a declaration to strengthen media cooperation and exchanges between China and Africa to support plans of the China-Africa Cooperation.
Held from June 20-22, 2016, the forum was jointly organized by the China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television and the African Union of Broadcasting.It brought together about 350 media representatives and government officials drawn from China and African countries.
In a joint statement, the media cooperation will safeguard international equity and justice and facilitate China-Africa Cooperation in the fields of media and international communication to win more say and increase influence in the arena of international public opinions so as to provide favorable support for the two sides to realize common development and shared dreams.
According to the declaration, Chinese and African media will encourage more personnel and information exchanges to contribute to the China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership.
In an opening speech earlier, the Minister of China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, Mr. Cai Fuchao, said the media cooperation serves as a bridge and bond that connect the heart of the Chinese and African people. Minister Cai said: “It is an important foundation of the China-Africa relations as well as a key component to and a powerful driving force behind China-Africa Cooperation.”
Looking into the future, Minister Cai said China will continue to adhere to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, join hands with African media colleagues build on the past and prepare for the future. He said his country will engage in practical innovation so as to increase the breadth and depth of cooperation.
Also speaking, the Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission,Mr. Erastus Mwencha, said the media forum provides a platform to explore opportunities for future mutual development, and to contribute to promoting world peace, stability and the development of Africa and China. “Indeed we need to strengthen our dialogue, consolidate Africa-China traditional friendship, deepen strategic collaboration and enhance the mechanism of practical cooperation between us,” Mr. Mwencha said.
He stated that Africa is major contributor to China’s economy supplying over 1/3rd of China’s energy requirements. The AU official further said it acquires other raw materials from Africa such as cotton from Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin, Cocoa from the Ivory Coast, coffee from Kenya, fish from Namibia and so on.
However, Mr Mwencha noted that China’s largest industry in Africa is in the service industry has seen a boom in terms of wholesale and retail stores, restaurants, hotels and furniture.
Speaking on behalf of African journalists at the China-Africa Press Center (CAPC), Journalist Ikenna Emewu of the Sun Newspaper in Nigeria, praised Chinese government and people for their cordiality to Africa and sponsoring exchanges between the two sides. Emewu said the gesture allows for more Africans on various programs in China to know more about Asian culture thus giving them the opportunities to learn lessons of rapid growth and development.
The Nigerian journalist equally urged African governments and leaders to sponsor some Chinese journalists to travel to and know more about African culture if the friendship must last. He disputed Africa is so poor that it cannot sponsor at least 20 Chinese journalists for a year to Africa. “My minister is here I am talking…Nigeria has the capacity to sponsor 20 Chinese journalists annually,” he elucidated. He then called on African officials at the forum to go back with the message and think about the little they can do, adding, “China too has its challenges, and at the time giving Africa billions of dollars.”
Meanwhile, the forum declarationis calling for peaceful settlement in the ongoing South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines.
“We unanimously hold the to maintain peace and calm in the South China Sea is of great importance to the world peace, stability and development, and in the common interest of the people all over the world,” the statement indicates.
The statement calls on related parties to peacefully resolve, through friendly consultation and negotiation,territorial and maritime disputes in accordance with bilateral agreements and relevant regional consensus.
It also wants parties to affirm the respect to sovereign states and signatory states to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of their rights to choose dispute settlement approach on their own.
China maintains it has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands (the Dongsha Islands, the Xisha Islands, the Zhongsha Islands and the Nansha Islands) and the adjacent waters. In its position paper, China says its activities in the South China Sea date back to over 2,000 years ago. “China was the first country to discover, name, explore and exploit the resources of the South China Sea Islands and the first to continuously exercise sovereign powers over them,” the country says.
Philippines vs. China is a pending arbitration case unilaterally brought by the Philippines concerning certain issues in the South China Sea including the legality of China’s “nine-dotted line” claim over the South China Sea under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). On 19 February 2013, China officially refused to participate in the arbitration because, according to China, its 2006 declaration under article 298 covers the disputes brought by the Philippines and that this case concerns sovereignty, thus it deems the arbitrary tribunal formed for the case has no jurisdiction over the issue.
Countries represented at the third Forum included: China, Liberia, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Liberia’s delegation to the forum includes: the Director General of the Liberia News Agency (LINA), Jay Nagbe Sloh, the Director General of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), Mr. Ledgerhood Julius Rennie, the Media Director at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs & Tourism (MICAT), Arthur Siaka Massaquoi and In Profile Daily News Editor, Fredrick P. W. Gaye (who also on media and cultural program in China).