Media is a medium of information communication. It serves as an important bridge and bond for friendly exchanges and people-to-people connectivity. Media exchanges and cooperationare an integral part of ASEAN-China relations. Media of the two sideshave always played an irreplaceable role in promoting the development of ASEAN-China relations by ways of spreading information,reducing misgivings, enhancing understanding, deepening friendship and promoting cultural exchanges and mutual learning.
Since ASEAN and China started their dialogue process in 1991, the exchanges and cooperation in media sector between the two sides have continued to develop, constantly advancing to a new level and its positioning in ASEAN-China relations has steadily enhanced. In November 2004,ASEAN and China signedthe Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity (2005-2010), making preliminary plans for media cooperation. In May 2007, the two sides held the first Conference of ASEAN-China Ministers Responsible for Information in Jakarta, Indonesia, marking the establishment of the ASEAN-China media cooperation mechanism. In April 2008, the ASEAN-China Summit Forum on Radio & Television was held in Beijing, China. Beijing Declaration was adopted and issued at the forum, making plans for the exchanges and cooperation in the field of radio and television. In October, the two sides signedASEAN–China MOU on Information and Media Cooperation, which established a medium to long-term cooperation framework in the field of information and media. In March 2015, Chinese government issued the Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, in which media cooperation is listed as an important part of Belt and Road cooperation with the countries along the routes(including ASEAN Member States). In August 2017, the two sides added information and media as the sixth priority area of the ASEAN-China Centre’s work.
In May 2018, the two sides held the first ASEAN-China Media Cooperation Forum.In 2019, which marked the ASEAN-China Year of Media Exchanges,the two sides issued the Joint Statement on Deepening ASEAN-China Media Exchange and Cooperationduring the 22nd ASEAN-China Summit, mapping out a new path for media cooperation.
In 2020, in the context of the global outbreak of COVID-19, ASEAN and China, focusing on the priority areas ofcooperation and the theme of ASEAN-China Year of Digital Economy Cooperation, made new progress in media cooperation. In June, the two sides held ASEAN-China Media & Think-tank Online Forum. In September, the two sides successively held ASEAN-China Convergence Media Forum and Online International Conference on “Securing a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society • Share China's Poverty Alleviation Program-ASEAN Media’s View on China’s Poverty Alleviation”. In October, the ASEAN-China Media Cooperation Forum was held. In November, the two sides held the 2nd ASEAN-China TV Week and ASEAN-China Short Video Competition, during which the ASEAN-China Audio-Visual Communication Forum was held. In the same month, the two sides signedthe Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity (2021–2025)during the 23rd ASEAN-China Summit, which provides new guidance and plans for media exchanges in the coming period.
ASEAN and Chinese media have carried out in-depth exchanges and close cooperation in all-around way, which has formed multi-level, multi-channel and multi-type cooperation pattern. Through such mechanisms as the Conference of ASEAN-China Ministers Responsible for Information, the Conference of ASEAN Plus Three Ministers Responsible for Information, and the High Level Conference on ASEAN-China Media Cooperation, the two sides have strengthened policy dialogue and formulated cooperation plans.
By organizing such activities as the ASEAN-China High Level Symposium on Media Cooperation, ASEAN-China Media Cooperation Forum and ASEAN-China High Level Media Forum, the two sides have constantly consolidated and enlarged a network of cooperation for sustainable development and guided media development through innovation. Meanwhile, the media organizations of both sides have constantly increased coverage of each other’s state affairs in breadth and depth by organizing meetings, seminars, joint interviews, co-production and training programmes, as well as through establishing such cooperation models as exchanging news articles, programmes and visits. The two sides have also carried out industrial cooperation in media management, programme purchase, copyrights, new technology application and personnel training, adopting innovative approaches to promote integration development of the media industry of both sides. The cooperation in new media and online audio-video industry has grown rapidly, which further enriched the lives of the people on both sides.
The year 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relationship and the ASEAN-China Year of Sustainable Development Cooperation. ASEAN-China relations embrace new opportunities. ASEAN and Chinese media will implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of both sides on deepening exchanges and cooperation, especially in key areas, to meet the need of development of ASEAN-China relations in the post-epidemic era.Such efforts should echo the theme of the year, reflect the new trend of media development, and tell the stories of how the two sides work together to promote peace, common development, mutual learning and people-to-people connectivity, so as to make new contributions to the development of ASEAN-China strategic partnership.