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China to push forward gov't news briefing system in 2007
Latest Updated by 2006-12-20 10:49:23
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The Chinese government will push forward its news briefing system next year, said a senior official with the Information Office of the State Council (IOSC) on Tuesday.

The IOSC encourages more government departments to release news independently, and four or five ministries will be expected to hold regular press conferences next year, said Cai Wu, director of the IOSC at an annual function.

Currently, departments such as the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Public Security hold routine press conferences on a monthly or even weekly basis.

According to Cai, the IOSC will continue to present to the world China's economic and social growth and explain the Chinese government's viewpoints and principles on key international issues.

The year 2007 will witness the opening of the 17th national congress of the Communist Party of China and further preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games.

"The IOSC will continue to improve services to the media both at home and abroad in 2007," Cai said, noting government press conferences are a crucial means of "protecting the public's right to know" and "guaranteeing the democracy of the Chinese political system".

About 300 diplomatic envoys, overseas media representatives, Chinese officials and news spokespersons attended the function.

Muhammad Iftikhar Raja, press and cultural counselor with the Pakistan Embassy to China, has only attended one press conference given by the IOSC.

"The professionalism of the Chinese spokesman impressed me. With China increasingly involved in the international community, regular information briefings are essential," said the counselor.

Alexandre S. Isaev, Beijing bureau chief of the Russian news agency, suggested the IOSC give press conferences in more languages such as Russian.

"Because more and more Russian people want to hear China's voice," Isaev said.

The IOSC sponsored 58 press conferences in 2005, the highest number since the creation of the government news briefing mechanism.

China's governmental news release system was initiated in 1983 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Statistics released by the Information Office of the State Council show that more than 70 central government departments have established news release and spokesperson systems.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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