|New Year Reception of Foreign Correspondents Is Held in Beijing|
In the evening of January 19, 2012, the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Foreign Affairs Office (FAO) and Information Office of Beijing Municipal People's Government jointly held a New Year reception for foreign correspondents in Beijing. More than 400 delegates were invited to the event, including Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun, Assistant Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu, officials of related departments and bureaus of the MFA, spokespersons of relevant ministries of the central government, officials of the FAOs of a number of provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, foreign correspondents in China, information officers of foreign embassies, heads of major Chinese media and reporters.
The reception site was decorated with red silk ribbons, Chinese lanterns and traditional ornaments, sending out a rich flavor of the Year of Dragon. Chinese and foreign guests gathered together in a joyous atmosphere.
On behalf of the MFA, Zhang first of all extended New Year greetings and wishes to the Chinese and foreign guests. He said in his speech that the world experienced complex and profound changes and China made new steps forward on the road of peaceful development in 2011. The international community has shown increasing interest in and paid greater attention to China. Foreign correspondents play an important role of promoting China's communications with the rest of the world. The Chinese government attaches great importance to enhancing understanding, interacting soundly and making win-win cooperation with international media. The regular press conference of the MFA has been increased to five times a week, with both timeliness and amount of information being enhanced significantly. We have also arranged field visits and interviews and held background briefing and symposiums on the official visits and attendance at major international conferences of Chinese leaders and on China's economic and social development and foreign policy, such as the Lanting Forum, which were widely welcomed by the correspondents. Over the past year, we had closer contacts with foreign correspondents and more sounds from China were sent out more quickly and widely.
He noted that the world will continue to undergo major development, major changes and major readjustments and China's political, economic and social development will enter into a new stage this year. The international media will focus more on China and it is more important than ever to strengthen China-foreign communications and understanding. We will, as always, welcome the fair and objective reports of China, create more and better conditions and provide more quality services for correspondents within the framework of relevant laws and regulations. So long as we respect each other, listen to each other, treat each other sincerely and make joint efforts, our cooperation will go deeper and we will enable the world to better understand a developing China and China to better understand a changing world.
During the reception, the headquarters of Confucius Institute and the FAOs of Fujian, Henan and Ningxia presented performances with strong regional and ethnic characteristics of China to the audiences.
The Chinese and foreign guests conducted in-depth communications in a friendly and festive atmosphere. Some foreign correspondents said that they would report and introduce China more comprehensively and deeply and help the world better understand China in the new year.
As of January 2012, 421 news agencies of 58 countries have dispatched correspondents to China and the total number of foreign correspondents in China reached 700.