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China-ASEAN TV summit aims to counterbalance Western media

By in News on

The 2007 China-ASEAN Television Cooperation Summit (2007 中国-东盟电视合作峰会) held its closing ceremony yesterday at the Expo Garden Hotel. The main theme of the summit was increasing television cooperation among Asian countries and creating an Eastern counterweight to Western media.

The two-day summit began on Wednesday with speeches by government officials and television industry leaders, including Zhang Changming, Vice President of China Central Television (CCTV). Zhang's speech, "Sending the voices of the East to the world", focused on the need for Eastern media to catch up with Western media in terms of impact and influence.

"One thing that cannot be denied is the imbalance between the East and West in global information flow," Zhang said before approximately 200 television professionals and government officials from China and the member states from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Zhang proposed more sharing between China and Southeast Asian countries in the fields of news reporting, documentary filmmaking and television programming and production.

"We can work together to grow and become stronger," he said, "and by way of the shared platform created by Asian media, we can let the voices from the East be heard on a global stage."

Other speakers included Mr Pratap Parameswaran of the ASEAN Secretariat, as well as television officials from Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. Several representatives of mainland television stations and production companies also delivered keynote addresses.

Shialey Tan of Singapore-based MediaCorp's high-definition documentary production company Caldecott Productions reiterated Zhang's message of Asians producing programs about Asia for non-Asian audiences. Tan was at the summit to promote "The Asian Pitch", a contest for independent Asian filmmakers organized by Caldecott, Japanese broadcaster NHK and South Korean broadcaster KBS.

"The face that Asia presents to the world should be one made by Asian media, not Western media," Tan said.

This year's China-ASEAN Television Cooperation Summit is the first meeting of its kind between China and ASEAN. The summit is scheduled to be held again in 2009.

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