China’s news release system must better adapt to the development of new digital media to further increase its efficiency and impact in getting its message across to domestic and international audiences on the key issues that concern them, spokespersons of different government organs and State-owned enterprises said on Sunday.

Digital media key to public awareness

“China and the world are currently facing ever-changing, complicated situations, and communication technologies are also developing rapidly, so it is important to keep up with the changes by using new media and choosing the communication method preferred by the public to help them better understand China,” said Xu Lin, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and minister of the State Council Information Office.

Xu was speaking at the China Spokespersons Forum, jointly held by the State Council Information Office and Peking University’s National Institute of Strategic Development in Beijing.

The development of China’s news release system is closely linked with the country’s opening-up process. The system has now been institutionalized. Furthermore, timely release of information, especially in the event of emergencies, has become a general consensus, Xu added.

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To better reach the public, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesperson office opened an account on the popular Chinese social media app WeChat in January, said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the ministry.

The ministry has consistently sought to improve the quality of the information released at its news conferences since the first one was held in 1983. Nowadays, it organizes more than 200 news conferences and issues 3,000 statements in different languages annually, Geng said.

“Quality of information is the lifeline of news releases. We have been trying to combine what we want to say and what concerns the media, in addition to making diplomatic expression more down to earth for the audiences from home and abroad,” Geng said.

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