Media professionals could do more to convey China's voice
Updated 09:00, 05-Sep-2019
Wang Xinyan

Editor's note: Wang Xinyan is an opinion editor at CGTN. The article reflects the author's views, and not necessarily those of CGTN.

On September 3, Liu Xin, journalist and television anchor on China Global Television Network (CGTN), yet again attracted global attention by discussing hot issues with CNBC's Seema Mody in a "Squawk on the Street" interview, during which she addressed questions regarding the Sino-U.S. trade war and Hong Kong protests with a confident and graceful presence.

"Liu Xin calmly and confidently responded to tough questions from the American perspective regarding China. In the process of doing so, she was able to swiftly dismantle common misconceptions, prejudices and cliche views in a dignified and thoughtful way," said Tom Fowdy, a China analyst from the United Kingdom.

This is the second time that Liu Xin has sent out the Chinese opinion on crucial issues as a guest in the American mainstream media. On May 30, she debated China-U.S. trade frictions with Fox Business Network's Trish Regan, accepting a "challenge" thrown by her American counterpart. 

"Compared to the debate with Trish, Liu Xin is more confident, more down-to-earth and to-the-point this time, as she has done a field visit to the U.S. and provided very convincing data to support her argument in the interview, and a face-to-face communication is more cordial," said Jia Wenshan, a professor at the School of Communication, Chapman University.

Since Donald Trump embroiled in a hopeless trade war with China more than a year ago, media outlets have played an important role in conveying voices and demonstrating both Chinese and American stances.

To a certain degree, the voice of the media means an act of the state. Neither China nor the United States is an exception. China hopes to influence Western society through international discourse and remove some misunderstandings about China. In this regard, Liu Xin is undoubtedly a highly-skilled reporter of China's external communication.

For instance, while responding to Trump's tariff hike, Liu Xin answered directly by claiming that President Trump's position to put additional tariffs this September 1 is not in the right direction and Trump's words on trade war are "perplexing and exhausting."

CGTN host Liu Xin joined Fox Business Network anchor Trish Regan for a televised debate on the China-U.S. trade war on May 30, 2019. /CGTN Photo

CGTN host Liu Xin joined Fox Business Network anchor Trish Regan for a televised debate on the China-U.S. trade war on May 30, 2019. /CGTN Photo

"Compared with the situation three months ago, China-U.S. relations are actually worse now, but people can feel China's confidence through Liu Xin's strong and firm words," Jia said. 

In her assessment of Trump, Liu Xin adopted a modest and reasonable approach. Instead of sharply criticizing the U.S. president, she said: "After a couple of years of President Trump's term, I think the Chinese people have found a way to understand him..." adding "We're not going to follow what he says every day, we actually want to see what he does."

This is a very convincing answer even for the picky Americans, who always share a very biased view of China, given Trump's notorious record of lying in the minds of the American people.

Rationality and calmness, as well as well-founded expressions can be easily found in the 12-minute interview, though Liu Xin faced tough questions from three CNBC hosts.

International media indulges in open bias against China, assuming China is always wrong, especially American TV news channels. Therefore, it is not easy for Chinese people to make their voice heard, especially when international issues involve the core interests of the two countries. Liu Xin's attempts and efforts can be treated as a successful test in taking China's voice to the international community.

However, the other side of the coin is that Chinese media outlets still lag behind in presenting Chinese stories to the international community. In fact, China has no shortage of professional reporters. According to an estimate, China has the largest number of reporters in the world, over a million, but only a few can report in English. The language barrier remains a big problem in conveying China's ideas to the world.

Besides, Chinese media also need to consider how to frame the narrative for foreigners.

"China is looking for strong Chinese voices to directly address issues involving China, but we need more reporters, more commentators to report on China in more useful ways, not trying to be an expert on China, but simply trying to express what you have found and your feelings about China, as well as how people in China are looking at things," said Einar Tangen, a current affairs commentator.

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at