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China to turn overseas publication body into int'l media group
Updated: 2009-09-05 17:24

China's government is to turn its oldest, biggest overseas publication body into an international media group, top publicity officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC) said Friday.

The Foreign Languages Publishing and Distribution Administration, also known as China International Publishing Group (GIPG), was founded in January, 1949 with the commission of introducing China to foreign countries through books, magazines and, more recently, websites.

CIPG now has more than 20 subsidiary and 12 overseas branches in countries such as the United States, Britain, Germany and Japan.

In a congratulatory letter to a meeting marking the 60th anniversary of CIPG, CPC officials outlined a goal of "building CIPG into an international media group with outstanding advantages, wide coverage, advanced technological means and significant influence", making it play a major role and serve as a driving force in promoting overseas publicity in the forms of books, magazines and websites.

The letter was signed by Li Changchun, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and Liu Yunshan, head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee.

The CPC officials called for reform of and innovation in CIPG, saying that active efforts should be made to explore new ideas about using market mechanisms to inject vigor into China's publicity abroad.

CIPG now publishes more than 3,000 titles of books and 30 magazines in more than 10 languages every year. It also operates and another 30 websites.

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In the letter, the CPC officials stressed the need to accelerate the pace of application of technology by integrating traditional and modern media forms. They also called for the development of a great number of specialized personnel in areas such as translation, information gathering and processing, management, technology and international marketing.

CIPG now has a staff of some 3,000 people, including more than 100 foreign experts.

"We will work to build a contingent of overseas communications talent which will have a strong political sense, high professional qualifications, strict discipline and good practice," the CPC officials said in the letter.

They said in the face of the international community's growing demand for information about China and increasingly intensive competition in international media, CIPG should "further liberate minds, seek truth from fact and progress with the times". They expressed the wish that CIPG continue to innovate in reform and development so as to make an ever greater contribution to creating a favorable environment for international opinion and building a prosperous society.


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