More than 300 media representatives from around the world got together in Dunhuang, Gansu province on Tuesday to discuss how outlets can cooperate under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The event - the Media Cooperation Forum on the Belt and Road - was co-hosted by People's Daily and the Gansu provincial government.
Zhang Ping, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, said during the opening ceremony, that the forum provides a platform for news agencies from around the world to communicate and enhance cooperation.
He hoped media outlets would give full play to policy interpretations and communication exploring common interests at intersections and actively promote the initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Pavel Negoitsa, publisher of Rossiyskaya Gazeta, said the initiative proposed a vision for all countries on how to establish large-scale international relations. He said he considers the forum to be a platform on which to conduct dialogue and seek new opportunities for cooperation.
Jose Vera, the president of Agencia EFE, a major multimedia news agency based in Spain, said the ancient Silk Road was not only representative of the prosperity of business but also a means for cultural exchange in history. Today, the news media should assume the role of exchanging knowledge and ideas, he said.
"I see this as an unparalleled opportunity for the media industry to exchange ideas and solutions in an increasingly disrupted media environment," said Stephen Rae, editor-in-chief of Independent News & Media in Ireland. "I believe this kind of collaboration mirrors the spirit of the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. The visionary initiative promotes cooperative diplomacy and collaboration in making new economic models thrive."
Olusegun Adeniyi, chair of the editorial board of Nigerian national newspaper This Day, said all the industries in Africa should be aware that the Belt and Road Initiative has created a larger space of development for everyone.
He said African countries have benefited a lot from the initiative, making it a priority to seek a path of openness and cooperation to ensure the inclusiveness. He emphasized that while implementing the initiative, people need to focus on transparency and openness, and the media have a role to play.
The forum, organized in 2014, aims to build an information highway, expand cooperation and promote communication through media collaboration. It will move to Boao, Hainan province, next year, according to Li Jun, deputy Party chief of Hainan.