TV deal gives view of China's growth

Updated: 2014-11-21 07:37

By Han Bingbin (China Daily)

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Chinese-speaking audiences in New Zealand are now able to watch a series of documentaries that give an insight into China's economic and social development.

As part of the Experience China cultural event, China's State Council Information Office signed a contract on Nov 9 with Auckland-based TV 33, New Zealand's first Chinese-language TV network, to provide the channel with well-made Chinese programs on a long-term basis.

Seventeen of them have started airing on the channel. Some are made jointly with established producers such as the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel, and feature various aspects of China's modern development including economics, culture and technology.

The programs include Megastructures: China's Smart Tower, an introduction to how the Guangzhou-based Pearl River Tower uses wind, solar power and other green energies to prevent urban pollution, and The Beijing-Tibet Railway, an exploration of one of history's most challenging transportation projects.

Cui Yuying, the State Council Information Office's deputy director, said during the contract signing ceremony that she hopes TV 33 will play a bigger role in enhancing mutual understanding between people in China and New Zealand, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The information office has supplied Chinese programs, including TV series, to 19 TV stations in more than 10 countries, including the United States, Tanzania and Myanmar.

During his visit to Mongolia in August, President Xi Jinping announced that China would provide Mongolia, at no charge, with 25 translated versions of select Chinese films and TV shows in the next five years.

While visiting Argentina in July, Xi brought three Chinese movies and TV series, all set in modern China, as a national gift.

In a speech delivered during his visit to Tanzania last year, Xi specifically mentioned the Chinese TV series A Beautiful Daughter-in-law Era. A Swahili version of that drama, translated and introduced to Tanzania by China Radio International, became a hot topic after it was broadcast in 2010.

As part of CRI's ongoing efforts to promote Chinese TV series abroad, last year alone it dubbed 80 films and TV shows into multiple languages for export.

Its most recent success was the introduction of the first Burmese-dubbed Chinese TV drama, the marriage-themed Jin Tailang's Happy Life, in Myanmar last year.

"The drama ignited heated discussions in Myanmar," says An Xiaoyu, director of CRI's center for Southeast Asian communications. "Audiences wrote to express their particular interest in the dubbing that they say freed their eyes and helped them to focus on the plot."

(China Daily 11/21/2014 page2)