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30 years of helping record great change a source of pride

By ZHANG YAONING | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-06-02 09:05
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At 70, looking back at my life, the 30 years I spent at China Daily are the most important.

I'm proud of having worked there for so long, and today, I'd like to share my thoughts on the period, the platform and the destiny of an individual.

China Daily began at a great time. Following the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the country entered the era of reform and opening-up.

At this important moment, the central leadership wisely decided to create an English-language daily newspaper to help the world better understand China, and so China Daily came into being.

A platform is not just about an organization, its buildings or its offices. It's more about the people who work there.

And China Daily's platform excels in promoting the country internationally; its soul is talent, the brains that determine its influence.

The newspaper has attracted bright minds, English-language and journalism professionals from China and abroad, each with the kind of life experience that made them experts in their fields.

Simultaneously, it recruited talented youth, who set up a unique team tasked with telling the country's story.

I will never forget that eastern corner of the former Beijing Institute of Mechanical Engineering-later the courtyard of People's Daily-where a gray, three-story building stood among poplars, its lights on all night, reporters coming and going, editors revising articles, typewriters tapping, and gray-haired elders talking to black-haired youngsters.

I'll also never forget the tense trial publications before the finished result, the discussions about the paper's English and Chinese names, the progress from typewriters to phototypesetters, or the thousands of news cartoons I drew. These are the memories of someone involved in the birth of a world-renowned news outlet.

As an individual, I've contributed to the platform, and also developed personally as a result.

At China Daily, I've published news cartoons and commented on domestic and international affairs, and won many prizes since the China News Award-the highest of its kind in the country-was established in 1990.

Credit for this goes to the exciting period in which I found myself, and the great platform I found myself on.

President Xi Jinping attaches great importance to developing China's international communication capabilities, and this has led to historic achievements and changes in recent years in the way China presents itself.

Against this backdrop, China Daily's mission to publicize the country has entered its best time. Let's look forward to every coming breakthrough and achievement.

The author Zhao Yaoning is the former senior cartoon editor of China Daily.

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