[lg policy] China launches Arabic-language TV channel as part of bid to expand global media influence

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 26 12:59:13 UTC 2009

China launches Arabic-language TV channel as part of bid to expand
global media influence

Bureau News July 25th, 2009
China launches Arabic-language TV channel

BEIJING — Chinese state television launched an Arabic-language channel
beamed to the Middle East and Africa on Saturday as part of efforts to
expand the communist government’s media influence abroad. The 24-hour
channel will air in 22 Arabic-speaking countries, reaching a total
population of nearly 300 million people, China Central Television said
in a statement. The channel “will serve as an important bridge to
strengthen communication and understanding between China and Arab
countries,” said a CCTV vice president, Zhang Changming, in the

Beijing is carrying out a multibillion-dollar effort to raise the
profile of its state media abroad by expanding CCTV, the Communist
Party newspaper People’s Daily and the official Xinhua News Agency.
The effort has a budget of 45 billion yuan ($6.6 billion), according
to a report last month by the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning
Post. The Arabic channel will carry news, feature stories,
entertainment and education programs and will gradually expand its
offerings, CCTV said. The network already broadcasts in English,
French and Spanish as well as in Mandarin.

Despite rapid economic growth and rising global influence, China has
retained its authoritarian one-party political system with strict
limits on freedom of speech and civil and political life. The media
drive echoes efforts by Russia and Qatar to influence international
news coverage through their state-funded Russia Today and Al-Jazeera
channels. Those attempts to challenge the BBC and CNN have scored some

CCTV announced plans last month for a Russian channel. State TV is
also overhauling its domestic news broadcasts for the first time in a
decade to combat a decline in viewership. China’s government and party
media are struggling against more dynamic competitors and rely on
state subsidies or moneymaking subsidiaries.

China Central Television: www.cctv.com


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