China and South Africa echoed their mutual and growing media appreciation and called for even greater media cooperation between the two countries at the start of the first ever China-Africa Media Leadership Summit held in Cape Town today.
The media summit, with South Africa's Naspers and China's StarTimes as co-organisers, comes on the eve of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation taking place in Johannesburg on 3 and 4 December, with China's president Xi Jinping visiting South Africa after a two day visit to Zimbabwe.
More than 200 professionals and delegates from South Africa, from across Africa and from the People's Republic of China – 43 countries in total – are attending today's summit at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) with representatives from newspapers, TV, radio and new media organisations attending.
China and South Africa kicked off the media summit with both countries calling for greater media cooperation.
Jeff Radebe, the minister in the presidency, who called the summit a "historic moment" for Chinese and South African media, urged South Africa media to "take the splendid opportunity" to establish new "win-win strategies" to strengthen Sino-African relationships and asked China to help with media capacity development in Africa and South Africa.
Kang Yong, the Chinese consul-general to Cape Town said China has been Africa's largest trading partner since 2009.
"[China's TV news channel] CCTV News has set up a news production centre in Africa; StarTimes has more than 6 million subscribers across Africa. I sincerely hope that Chinese and African media can work together to tell our stories together."
Kang Yong said that China and Africa in the past had been much maligned in international news coverage and said he hoped that Africa and China can set up more channels and platforms for "pragmatic cooperation" since these countries "have to tell their own stories".
Pang XinXing, president of the StarTimes pay-TV group said the media summit should be held on a regular basis to build media cooperation between China and African media.
Jiang Jianguo, minister of China's State Council Information Office (SCIO) said Chinese and African media should stand together to condemn terrorism.
"I hope Chinese and African media will innovate in the pursuit of journalism and report on the real stories of the context between African and Chinese people and how Chinese cooperation has benefitted people on both sides".
He said China's StarTimes and South Africa's Naspers have set good examples with mutual investment in Africa and China.
China has become Africa's largest trading partner and has offered loans totaling $32 billion to African nations the past two years.