Minister: Information flow will be made easier
By Zhao Huanxin and Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-30 05:50
Foreign journalists will have increased and wider access to government
departments and find it easier to cover emergencies, China's top information
officials said yesterday.
Apart from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
which holds regular news conferences, more Chinese ministries public security,
education and health will have their spokespersons briefing the media every
month in the new year, State Council Information Office Minister Cai Wu said.
State Council Information Office Minister Cai
The office is also pushing other powerful departments, like the Ministry of
Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission, to come on board,
Cai told a press meeting yesterday.
"More and more departments have realized that closer interaction with the
media is a boost rather than a barrier to their work," Cai said.
Sometimes, department leaders are busy, and sometimes they are not accustomed
to facing the media; through increased exposure and push from journalists, more
will offer to talk to the press, Cai said.
"It can be expected that our media friends will soon have more chances to
have more and better exchanges with ministers and vice-ministers," he said.
The office yesterday updated contact information for spokespersons at 69
State Council departments and announced a round-the-clock office hotline:
In addition to those departments, 27 provinces and municipalities have also
established their own news release systems.
Commenting on the sometimes-slow information flow during emergencies, the
office's deputy chief Wang Guoqing said the State Council attaches great
importance to the handling of emergencies and crises, and the response to the
media in such situations.
The 40 training workshops offered to spokespersons from provincial and
central government departments this year included emergency management and
"I believe (getting your) interviews will become more and more convenient in
the future," he said.
Wang also said China is revising a decade-old statute regarding foreign
journalists' operations in the country.
The State Council office arranged for dozens of officials from ministries and
commissions and from the Communist Party of China Central Committee departments
to give a record 68 press conferences at the office hall this year.
Thanks to the office's efforts to build a three-tier information release
system at the office, State Council department and provincial government levels,
1,088 press meetings have been held so far this year, compared with about 900
last year, Cai said.
In response to foreign media's requests, the office has also helped
journalists to report from the scene on China's bird flu control, intellectual
property rights protection and anti-narcotics drive, he said.
In another development, the central government will launch a new English
website: www.gov.cn, on New Year's day to offer comprehensive information about
every aspect of China. The website's French, Spanish and Korean versions will be
The English version provides information on travel, study, employment,
business, immigration, marriage and child adoption.
"We will have online interaction not only with Chinese, but also foreigners,"
said an editor of the State Council's website.
(China Daily 12/30/2005 page1)