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Cooperation among media seen as vital for neighbors in pandemic

By LIU XUAN | China Daily | Updated: 2020-11-28 10:04

Khamphone Vongsonty (center), consul general of Laos in Kunming, Southwest China's Yunnan province, receives anti-pandemic medical supplies donated by the Yunnan Provincial People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries on Thursday.

Cooperation among media in countries along the Lancang-Mekong River is essential in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic, as inaccurate information can undermine public confidence and distort the achievements made so far, officials and experts said.

Facing a widely spreading virus, media organizations should have the responsibility and obligation to build consensus and gather strength, Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said in an online summit.

It is vital for the media to uphold a scientific attitude to promote joint prevention and control of the virus, while opposing politicization and stigma, said Huang, who is also head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee.

By sharing more stories on win-win development, media from the Lancang-Mekong countries can create a good environment for public opinion to support economic recovery and a return to sustainable development, Huang said in his speech on Tuesday.

Participants in the 2020 Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Media Online Summit discussed how media from these countries can enhance cooperation to help combat the spread of COVID-19, which has infected more than 60 million people around the world.

The Lancang-Mekong River flows through six countries: China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. It is known as the Lancang River in China and the Mekong outside the country.

Since the cooperation among Lancang-Mekong nations has entered a period of rapid expansion, significant progress has been made in mechanism building, strategic planning, financial support, and practical cooperation, said Qian Hongshan, deputy head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

"And China is willing to work with all parties to keep deepening and expanding Lancang-Mekong cooperation," he said.

Connectivity, familiarity

Pe Myint, Myanmar's minister of information, said media cooperation in the Lancang-Mekong countries has promoted connectivity and familiarity, which allow people to learn more about the positive features of the neighboring lands.

"I wish that this cooperation will continue to be steadfast and strong for as long as the great Mekong-Lancang River continues to exist on this earth," the minister said.

Le Quoc Minh, deputy general director of the Vietnam News Agency, called for a cooperation mechanism for media from the six countries to share information.

Such a mechanism could help with information verification and clarification and screen out coverage from some other international media that may be biased, he said.

The mechanism should enable the sharing of information not only on the pandemic, but on social and economic development, and technological progress, among other issues, he said, adding that this would channel authoritative information to all the parties involved.

Soy Sophea, CEO and editor-inchief of Cambodia's Deum Ampil Media Center, believes an understanding of the importance of Lancang-Mekong cooperation has "become more prominent" under the current international situation.

"We look forward to the joint efforts of the media from our six countries to build consensus on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as well as promote the Lancang-Mekong cooperation to achieve more fruitful results," Soy Sophea said.

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