A General Overview of ASEAN-China Media Cooperation (Updated to May 2020)

source:ASEAN-China Centre
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 cooperation are an integral part of ASEAN-China relations. Media of the two sides have 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 signed 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 signed ASEAN–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 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 countries). In August 2017, the two sides added information and media as the sixth priority area of ACC's work.
In recent years, media exchanges between ASEAN and China have become much closer with cooperation further expanded in breadth and depth. Through such mechanisms as Conference of ASEAN-China Ministers Responsible for Information,  Conference of ASEAN Plus Three Ministers Responsible for Information, and High Level Conference on ASEAN-China Media Cooperation, the two sides have strengthened policy dialogue and formulated cooperation plans. Through such platforms as ACC and CAEXPO, the two sides have constantly consolidated and enlarged a network of cooperation for sustainable development in the fields of information and media. By organizing such activities as ASEAN-China High Level Symposium on Media Cooperation, ASEAN-China Media Cooperation Forum and ASEAN-China High Level Media Forum, the two sides have exerted joint efforts to nurture a favorable public opinion for cooperation, and guide media development through innovation. Meanwhile, the media organizations of both sides have constantly strengthened and consolidated ASEAN-China partnership in information and media sector 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 exchanges and cooperation in media management, programme purchase, copyrights, new technology application and technical personnel training, adopting innovative approaches to promote common development of the media industry of both sides.
In 2019, which marked the ASEAN-China Year of Media Exchanges, media cooperation between the two sides reached a new high. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Thai Prime Minister Prayut sent congratulatory messages respectively to the opening ceremony of the media exchange year which was held in February in Beijing, China, in which both leaders spoke highly of the important role of media in promoting people-to-people exchanges and expressed their hope that the media of both sides could make even greater contributions to deepening ASEAN-China strategic partnership and the building of a closer ASEAN-China community with a shared future. In November, during the 22nd ASEAN-China Summit, the two sides issued Joint Statement on Deepening ASEAN-China Media Exchange and Cooperation and discussed the formulation of ASEAN-China Five-Year Plan for Audiovisual Communication Cooperation, mapping out a path for media cooperation. To highlight the theme of ASEAN-China Year of Media Exchanges, the two sides organized a number of key activities in policy coordination, news report cooperation, co-production, programme exchange, media industry cooperation and personnel training, which achieved a series of important outcomes.
To echo the theme of the ASEAN-China Year of Digital Economy Cooperation in 2020, ASEAN-China media cooperation will focus more on such priority areas as connectivity and smart cities cooperation for greater development of people-to-people exchanges and ASEAN-China strategic partnership.