[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
China launches Arabic TV channel
Beijing moves to address "distored" view of the country across the Middle East.
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2009 08:39 GMT
The Middle East is served by a large number of
Arabic TV channels [GALLO/GETTY] 

China has launched a 24-hour Arabic-language television channel aimed at addressing "distorted" views of China in the Middle East and North Africa.

The satellite channel, launched on Saturday, is expected to reach about 300 million people in 22 countries.

China Central Television (CCTV) already broadcasts foreign language channels in English, Spanish and French.

Zhang Changming, deputy president of CCTV, said that through the Arabic channel "the world can know China and China can know the rest of the world even better".

"Our principle is to be real, to be objective, to be accurate and transparent. CCTV will present the world with the real China," he said at the launch.

The channel will mainly broadcast news, but Zhang promised it would also feature entertainment and educational programmes.

'Good journalism'

Ying Chan, the director of Hong Kong University's journalism and media studies centre, told Al Jazeera that China saw the channel as a way to counter "unfair" portrayls of China in the international media.

"There's no question that the Middle East is a very strategic area and China wants its voice heard there," she said.

"They want to announce their policies more to the world, and they also felt that the international media, led by the Western media, has not been fair to China."

China exerts a great deal of control over its media and often censors the reporting of sensitive topics.

"It [CCTV] will face challenges in how much it will allow its own reporters to report news as it is, as it happened," Ying said.

"I think CCTV, in order to gain influence, has to deliver good journalism."

Investment plans

CCTV has also said it plans to open more foreign bureaus.

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper reported that Beijing was prepared to put 45 billion yuan ($6.6bn) into the development of its media, an amount which could not be confirmed by Chinese sources.

China's Arabic language channel joins other foreign government media networks broadcasting in Arabic.

The UK's BBC launched its Arabic channel last year and the US set up al-Hurra, an Arabic-language channel based in Virginia, in 2004.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
join our mailing list