By Talibeh Hydara in Beijing
At least sixty journalists from 51 countries across the world have arrived in Beijing, China, for an expeditious four-month media exchange programme.
On the invitation of the China Public Diplomacy Association, the participants, drawn from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central-Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean, have been given access to interact, observe and report on China’s path to democracy and development.
First task for the journalists is to cover the Two Sessions; the National People’s Congress— China’s top legislative body and the 14th CPPCC National Committee—China’s top political advisory body. The biggest annual gathering in the country’s political life will start at the weekend.
At a brief meeting on Thursday ahead of the Gambian representatives’ departure, the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia, H.E Liu Jin, told the participants to seize the opportunity to especially share with the Gambian people China’s road to modernisation.
He also urged them to interact with ordinary Chinese people to enhance mutual understanding between the two peoples.
At a short orientation on arrival in Beijing, the participants were addressed by members of the China International Press Commnication Centre, the initiators of the programme, who took turns to give a background of the project, the rationale and a compact schedule for the participants, including visits in and out of Beijing, Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Museum of the Communist Party of China, Garden Expo Park, among other high profile institutions and places.
The participants are lodged at the futuristic Diplomatic Residence Compound and will, for the next 120 days, have the opportunity to learn about the uniqueness of China’s development trajectory.
The representatives from The Gambia are Talibeh Hydara from The Standard Newspaper and Momodou Lamin Choi from QTV.