Reporter's Diary: Foreign reporters use CGTN app to follow China's constitutional amendment
By Han Peng
The approval of China's constitutional amendment attracted global attention on Sunday. But when the amendment's drafting team held a press briefing at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing right after the vote, no translation was provided despite the presence of many foreign reporters.
Of course, many of these reporters have already become "China hands," a term referring to foreigners who are familiar with and knowledgeable in Chinese language and culture, after years of staying in the country.
Some even know more about the country and the language than locals, but what about those who don't?
Reporters use CGTN app. /CGTN Photo

Reporters use CGTN app. /CGTN Photo

That's when CGTN mobile app really helps.
I covered the Two Sessions several times, but this year, one scene really struck me. Almost all the foreign reporters around me in the press briefing were wearing earphones and keeping their eyes on their mobile phones, as the drafting team's spokesperson Shen Chunyao, chairman of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee was speaking right in front of them.
They were watching CGTN, as it was live broadcasting the press briefing not only in English, but also in French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian.
A foreign reporter uses CGTN app. /CGTN Photo

A foreign reporter uses CGTN app. /CGTN Photo

CGTN is China's first and only 24-hour TV broadcaster, website and mobile app that reports news in foreign languages. Just search "CGTN" in the app store and download it, you will be able to receive firsthand information about China as fast as a CNN or Reuters journalist covering it on the spot. How cool is that?
The last time I saw foreign reporters watching our live programs was in November 2017, when US President Donald Trump visited China. The Great Hall of the People was packed, with reporters eager to get the statements as fast as possible from Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, the leaders of the world's two most powerful economies.
In the crowded press conference room, there were limited seats for reporters, and those who were not able to squeeze in were watching CGTN on their mobile phones outside the door. And it seems they did not miss anything compared to those inside.
Reporters attend a press briefing at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. /CGTN Photo

Reporters attend a press briefing at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. /CGTN Photo

Why did I only see this twice so far? Because CGTN is still a very young news organization, which launched its app in early 2017.
Many journalists at the Two Sessions say they witnessed history being made on Sunday, when the economic superpower amended its Constitution that may well impact its political agenda for years to come.
While witnessing that part of history, I observed a history about China's voices being heard more by the world through its fast growing news organizations. And I'm proud to be part of it.