40 years of news and views

China Daily | Updated: 2021-06-01 08:44
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China Daily at 40: From the beginning

Song Chen/China Daily

Reform and opening-up in the late 1970s led to a steadily growing number of visitors to China -- foreign experts, businessmen, consultants and tourists; however, they knew little about what was happening in the country or the wider world in the absence of an English-language newspaper.

Enter China Daily. English-speaking Chinese, including newspaper, magazine and book editors, ex-diplomats, translators and foreign journalists joined to launch an English-language newspaper -- the first in New China -- which published its first issue on June 1, 1981.

An eight-page broadsheet, it carried China and world news as well as editorials, opinion pieces and features, and was delivered to embassies, consulates, foreign companies, hotels and airports.

But keeping foreigners abreast of news was not its only role from the very beginning.

China Daily pledged to be "a new bridge for international exchanges" in one of the first issues. The expectation for the paper was to "play an effective role in strengthening friendly relations between China and the rest of the world, promoting friendship between people of all lands and furthering worldwide economic, technological and cultural exchanges".

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