Closer Chinese media ties


SMG inks pact with magazine to help foster cultural exchange

KUALA LUMPUR: Star Media Group (SMG) has joined hands with China’s Contemporary World Magazine to explore opportunities for cooperation.

In an agreement signed during the Contemporary World: Cultural Exchange roundtable discussion, both media companies agreed to collaborate on news sources and explore further cooperation opportunities.

Earlier, in his speech at the roundtable, SMG chief executive officer Chan Seng Fatt said it was crucial to enhance the representation of countries in the Global South as their voices were often diluted in international dialogues.

“In the context of China’s efforts in South-East Asia, we see challenges and opportunities. Language barriers, cultural misunderstandings and differing political landscapes pose significant challenges.

“Yet, there lies a golden opportunity to bridge these divides through concerted media collaboration, telling stories that resonate across borders and highlighting shared value and aspirations,” he said.

The roundtable, he said, was momentous as Malaysia and China are celebrating their 50th anniversary of friendship this year.

The media’s role, said Chan, was to create content that reflected the diverse cultural landscapes of China and South-East Asia and highlighted common challenges, such as climate change and technological innovation.

Contemporary World Magazine director general and editor-in-chief Lu Xuejun said Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in March last year to discuss deeper collaboration between the two countries.

“And we implement that consensus advocated by our leaders,” he said, adding that the media’s goal was to be the bridge between the countries’ citizens to foster friendly relationships.

Shared audience: (From left) Contemporary World Magazine general editorial office deputy director Wei Dandan, LV, Chan and Tee pose for photos after the roundtable discussion at the Asian International Arbitration Centre, Kuala Lumpur. — FAIHAN GHANI/The StarShared audience: (From left) Contemporary World Magazine general editorial office deputy director Wei Dandan, LV, Chan and Tee pose for photos after the roundtable discussion at the Asian International Arbitration Centre, Kuala Lumpur. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

“Firstly, we are role models in sharing both countries’ cultures.

“Secondly, we hope to be the platform to connect people’s hearts and minds for amiable relationships for generations to come.

“Thirdly, it’s to have a win-win collaboration and be a catalyst for a vibrant economy,” he said, adding that the collaboration would enable both media houses to create a positive impact together.

“I firmly believe that through our collaboration, we can shoulder the responsibility for better bilateral relations and create a shared future for our countries,” Lu added.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of Malaysian and International Studies director Prof Dr Sufian Jusoh said with Malaysia chairing Asean in 2025, good ties with China would help provide the substance and support towards closer relations between China and the bloc.

“This provides an opportunity for Malaysia and China to work together for investments and trade, and move towards a new market beyond the western world,” he said, citing the exambple of higher education as an area that had been positively impacted by the good relations between the two countries.

“A few Malaysian universities have set up learning centres in China and many Chinese students pursue higher education in Malaysia,” he said.

Universiti Malaya’s Institute of China Studies director Dr Ngeow Chow Bing called for a deeper and stronger understanding of the culture of both countries.

“The understanding of China is not very deep and confined to the local Chinese communities ... more needs to be done,” he said.

Held at the Asian International Arbitration Centre, the roundtable discussion was hosted by PKR’s Rawang assemblyman Chua Wei Kiat.

Also present were SMG independent non-executive director Katrina Tee, chief content officer Datin Paduka Esther Ng, chief business officer Lydia Wang and Chinese Embassy in Malaysia counsellor Shao Liang.

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