To promote strategic partnership for peace and prosperity between China and ASEAN, as well as to enhance media exchange and cooperation between China and ASEAN Member States, China’s Information Office of the State Council and the Indonesian Ministry of Information and Communications co-sponsored the Meeting of China-ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information held on October 16, 2008, in Nanning, Guangxi, China. Participants included ministers or representatives of government administrations of information from China and ASEAN Member States (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam), representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat, leading officials from relevant departments of the Chinese Government and the People’s Government of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as well as representatives from China’s state media and Guangxi media organisations. Participants conducted in-depth exchanges and extensive discussions on strengthening media cooperation between China and ASEAN Member States, with the theme as “enhancing media exchange and promoting cooperation between China and ASEAN.”

 The meeting is being held based on the belief that China and ASEAN Member States have analogous geographical locations and similar cultures. Since this dialogue and cooperation process began in 1991, China and ASEAN have seen the deepening of mutual political trust, increased frequency of dialogue and communication, remarkable achievements in economic and trade cooperation, along with enriched and deeper cooperation for the mutual benefit of all. As relations between China and ASEAN advance and our cooperation deepens, the strengthening of cooperation between China and ASEAN media organisations has become a key link as well as the basis for enhancing understanding and trust between the countries’ peoples, and promoting all-dimensional cooperation between China and ASEAN. This meeting expanded the contents of “10+1 cooperation,” playing a significant role in pushing forward the strategic partnership between China and ASEAN.

 The meeting emphasised that although China and ASEAN have made some achievements in economic development, we are still at disadvantaged positions in the international network of information dissemination and thus face similar severe challenges in safeguarding the fundamental interests of our countries and peoples, preserving and carrying forward our values and cultural traditions, and promoting our media’s power of discourse in the international arena. China and ASEAN should improve coordination and mechanisms, expand existing channels, and focus on continuing self-improvement, to strive for greater power of media discourse in the international arena. The two parties will continue medium- and long-term cooperation on issues of mutual interest so as to promote media cooperation and raise the voice of Asia among world public opinion. The participants recognise the importance of diversifying media exchange and cooperation between the two parties at the central as well as the provincial level, while giving play to the role of government administrations of information in promoting such exchange and cooperation.

 The meeting has highlighted that, regarding human resources, China and ASEAN will support media professionals and government officials from both parties in reciprocal visits, exchanges and training. Regarding media exchange and co-production of programmes, the two parties will work together in interviews, as well as in the production, marketing, showing and distribution of films and television programmes. As for China-ASEAN information and media networks, the two parties will engage in regular discussions and dialogues about broadcasting and television, media policies, technological development of the media industry and other issues, so as to promote greater communication in the fields of information and culture.

 At the meeting, China’s Information Office of the State Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ASEAN Member States on information and media cooperation, laying a solid foundation for the strengthening of cooperation in the fields of information and media, as well as enhancing partnership. Participants recommended that China’s Information Office of the State Council, on behalf of the Chinese government, and the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information, on behalf of ASEAN Member States, be the implementers of this Memorandum of Understanding, and shoulder the responsibilities of planning, supervising and evaluating cooperative projects by utilizing the cooperative mechanisms established based on ASEAN-China dialogue.

 This gathering upholds that this high-level meeting between Chinese and ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information has realised the purpose of promoting practical media cooperation, as well as mutual development and benefit between China and ASEAN, and that such success and results are most gratifying and encouraging. All the participants believe that this meeting is important for the two parties in enhancing trust and strengthening friendship. It has enriched the substance of China-ASEAN relations and opened up new areas for media cooperation between the two parties. The meeting and the Memorandum of Understanding will be positive instruments and uplift media cooperation between China and ASEAN to new heights. Participants agreed that there are great prospects for and huge potential in media cooperation between the two participants. China and ASEAN Member States should become more closely linked, work together and make concerted efforts to contribute more to the peace, development, cooperation and prosperity of this region. 

The Meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Wang Chen, Minister of the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China and Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nuh, Minister of Communication and Information Technology of the Republic of Indonesia.