Senior editors and reporters from 12 countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative have gathered in Shanghai for a 26-day training program to gain a full understanding of China’s development in the new era and exchange work experience beginning on June 20.
In the Dongfang Fellowship Program, the foreign journalists will participate in classes and cultural exchanges in Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou to learn about the country’s profound changes in economic, political, cultural and ecological areas since its reform and opening-up 40 years ago.
The goal of the program is to contribute to the journalists’ professional development and eventually to promote the common development of China and all other countries and regions as well as regional and world peace and development.
The training program is jointly hosted by China Daily, Shanghai International Studies University and the University of International Business and Economics, and was sponsored by China Eastern Airlines.
Zhou Shuchun, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, said he hoped the program will serve as a bridge of friendly and interactive communication.
“As China’s global English newspaper, China Daily has been committed to facilitating international communication. We expect that the program will be a new starting point to further facilitate media collaboration between different countries and bring new vitality into cultural communication between the East and the West,” Zhou said during the opening ceremony of the fellowship program.
Jiang Feng, Party secretary of SISU, said globalization brings convenience and challenges at the same time.
“In the process of realizing development, all countries and regions should promote cooperation and have a strong sense of sharing. I expect that the program will better facilitate communication at different levels among the countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said.
Wen Jun, deputy Party secretary of UIBE, said news media are an important part of human social development and they heavily influence public opinion.
“The fellowship program is of great significance. It will contribute to the establishment of a fair and reasonable new international order of communication and generate more cultural exchanges between the countries and regions involved in the initiative,” she said.
Xu Kaizhuo, Party committee member of China Eastern Air Holding Co, said apart from providing transportation, the company is also committed to spreading Chinese culture and promoting cultural communication around the globe.
“We believe the program is an opportunity for us to make new contributions to enhance foreign people’s understanding of China and strengthen friendship between Chinese people and those from all other countries,” he said.
Yang Jing, director of the press relationship department of the Information Office of the Shanghai Municipal Government, said the office expects that the program will assist foreign media to know more about Shanghai and China and in conveying more Chinese stories overseas.
“Chinese people are eager to learn more about the countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, and a rising number of stories regarding these regions have appeared in local media. We believe the international community is also curious about Shanghai and China,” she said.
Leonid Kovachich, a participant in the fellowship program and an editor at Russia’s Sputnik News Agency, said China’s achievements in high technology, blockchain and digital economy have been eye-catching in recent years.
“Five years ago, when everybody paid with cash, I couldn’t have imagined that today China would use mobile payment on such a large scale,” said Kovachich, who lives in Moscow and specializes in editing stories on Chinese economy and financial technologies.