China Starts US Television Channel “To Propagate Information About China Overseas”

By: EW News Desk Team   Date: 5 January 2012

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05 January 2012

China’s State Council Information Centre is planning to broadcast a 24-hour television channel in New York starting sometime in the first quarter of this year, in order to wield greater cultural influence overseas as well as to curb the spread of foreign influence on Chinese society.

“It’s our role to propagate information about China overseas,” said Yan Xinxia, a director at the State Council Information Office’s China Internet Information Centre, to reporters in Hong Kong as quoted by Bloomberg on Thursday.

The television channel, called TodayChina, will be distributed for free using digital TV technology in New York City; and will be a collaborative effort between the China Internet Information Centre and CMMB Vision Holdings Ltd.

According to CMMB Vision Chairman Charles Wong, the new channel will feature news and entertainment content in English and Chinese, with Chinese-language programming to be accompanied by English subtitles.

The news came just days after Chinese President Hu Jintao warned the country of an increasing growth of influence by Western media on the Chinese culture and ideology.

“We must clearly see that international hostile forces are intensifying the strategic plot of Westernizing and dividing China, and ideological and cultural fields are the focal areas of their long-term infiltration,” said Hu, in an essay published this week in Seeking Truth, the Communist Party's official magazine.

“We should deeply understand the seriousness and complexity of the ideological struggle, always sound the alarms and remain vigilant, and take forceful measures to be on guard and respond,” Hu added.

Hu was also mindful of the fact that the country with the most cultural influence would eventually gain a competitive advantage in a globalized world, especially when people were exposed to many different ideologies and values.

As such, the Chinese’ latest move for a 24-hour channel in the US should not come as a surprise, particularly after the state-owned Xinhua News Agency had already attempted something similar in 2010 by starting a 24-hour news channel overseas.

“The overall strength of Chinese culture and its international influence is not commensurate with China’s international status,” said Hu in his essay, as cited by the New York Times.

“The international culture of the West is strong while we are weak.”

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