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Media center ready for influx of international reporters

By Li Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-28 00:13

People work at the press center for China's upcoming annual legislative and political consultative sessions in Beijing, capital of China on Feb 27. [Photo/Xinhua]

A media center was put into use on Tuesday in Beijing, ready to serve the influx of international reporters who will cover the upcoming annual two sessions of the nation's top legislative and political advisory bodies.

The two sessions — the second session of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the second session of the 14th National People's Congress — will open on March 4 and 5, respectively.

The center, at the Media Center Hotel in Beijing, said in a news release on Tuesday that over 3,000 reporters have registered to cover the event, including about 1,000 from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and abroad.

The center said it is equipped with a news conference hall and several interview rooms, which news outlets are welcome to use.

"Digital versions of the main conference documents will be provided to journalists, eliminating the need for media reporters to wait in long queues on-site to collect them," the release said, adding that venues will also be available for conducting interviews at the hotels where NPC deputies and members of the CPPCC National Committee stay.

Shortly after the media center opened on Tuesday morning, correspondents and videographers, including those from Hong Kong Cable Television and Phoenix Satellite Television, streamed into the center for a glimpse of the venue and exchanged contact information with peers.

A staff member at the center, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak with the media, said his colleagues had handled a number of phone calls from foreign reporters who sought help with registration or requested additional information about the two sessions.

"Journalists typically want more information than what is officially available," he said.

The multimedia hall on the second floor has been repurposed into a news conference hall, with more than 150 seats facing a podium with eight chairs and a blue background. At the back of the hall, stands have been set up for videographers.

Free refreshments such as cake and coffee were available in the media center's cafeteria. At this year's two sessions, media access for in-person interviews and on-site reporting will be fully restored to pre-pandemic levels.

Workers mopped the floors while others tested scanning machines at security checkpoints and erected glass-front display counters to be filled with commemorative stamps and postcards issued by China Post.

A TV correspondent from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, who only gave her name as Emily and worked with a laptop in the cafeteria after completing some footage, said it is her first time to cover the two sessions. "Not many reporters have shown up yet," she said, "but maybe in just a few days, the place will be packed."

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