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Interview: Arab-Chinese media cooperation essential amid common challenges, says Egyptian expert

Arab-Chinese media cooperation

Media cooperation between the Arab world and China is essential amid growing common challenges, said Ahmed Sallam, former undersecretary of Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS).

Sallam, also a former media consultant at the Egyptian embassy in Beijing, told Xinhua in an interview ahead of his trip to China for the 5th World Media Summit sponsored by Xinhua.

It is of great importance that media outlets in China and the Arab world introduce each other objectively and impartially, while the Western media « mostly adopt biased and non-positive views on the Arab countries and China, » he said.

Entering its second decade, the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) reinforces Arab-Chinese media cooperation, especially in light of the high esteem China enjoys among the Arab people, especially the youth, said the media expert.

Citing a survey in June by the Dubai-based public relations firm ASDA’A BCW, Sallam said over 80 percent of the youth in 18 Arab states view China as a partner for their countries.

He attributed the favorable view to the increasing social and cultural communication between the two sides and the growing number of Arabic-speaking Chinese media outlets.

« Over the past ten years of the BRI, cooperation between the Arab countries and China witnessed the conclusion of many cooperation protocols and media partnerships between the two sides, » Sallam told Xinhua.

He stressed that the growing Arab-China cooperation under the BRI « allows the peoples of both sides to exchange knowledge and expertise, and also benefits their media professionals through mutual training programs. »

The rising challenges facing media and media professionals like the artificial intelligence also reinforced the need for cooperation between the two sides, said Sallam.

Scheduled for Dec. 2-8 in China’s Guangzhou and Kunming, the 5th World Media Summit gathers more than 450 representatives from nearly 200 institutions, including media outlets, think tanks, and international organizations, from over 100 countries and regions.

The summit discusses several topics including the role of media in promoting human development and security, the response of media to new technological opportunities and challenges, new media markets in the digital age, and the worldwide media cooperation for a better future.

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