Foreign media focus on reform, globalization at opening press conference of 19th Party congress

Photo taken on October 17, 2017 shows a cameraman working at a press conference held by Tuo Zhen, spokesperson for the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China. Photo: Xinhua

At the first press conference of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held on Tuesday, foreign journalists for the first time surpassed their domestic peers in raising a series of questions involving the economic and political reforms and the Belt and Road initiative.

During the two-hour news briefing, eight reporters from foreign media outlets including Bloomberg, Reuters and Associated Press of Pakistan gained the opportunities to put forward questions about the Party congress and China's future development, making a record high. A total of 12 reporters from home and abroad were granted opportunities to ask questions at Tuesday's press conference.

State media said that more than 1,800 reporters from foreign countries and regions of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan would cover this year's Party congress, accounting for more than half of the total reporters.

At Tuesday's press conference, the foreign reporters who raised questions shifted the focus to China's economic reform and its global ambition despite the fact that Beijing's sweeping crackdown on corruption and efforts to combat pollution have impressed the whole world since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012.

A reporter from Spain's Agencia EFE asked about whether the 19th National Congress of the CPC will discuss the opening of more economic sectors to the European Union and the United States. A Bloomberg reporter cared about whether China would see deleveraging more important than economic growth. An Italian reporter cast doubt on "Made in China 2025", a Chinese national policy she said might hurt the economic interests of foreign companies. A reporter working for Associated Press of Pakistan raised a question about China's role in promoting economic globalization.

Besides, China's global strategy was another hot topic among foreign reporters. In response to a question from the Pakistani reporter, who described the Belt and Road initiative as a tool to transfer the excess capacity, Tuo Zhen, spokesperson for the 19th National Congress of the CPC, defended the initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping, saying that the "excess and outdated capacity will have no market and only the high-quality capacity can stand out" in the competitive global market.

The Belt and Road initiative appears to have become a key discussion point. According to the domestic media reports, ahead of the 19th National Congress of the CPC, 32 reporters from 27 countries involved in the Belt and Road initiative were invited to visit China, where they exchanged views about establishing a cooperation mechanism for media organizations.

Also, there were some foreign reporters who raised questions about China's electoral system, the Party's discipline inspection system and the political reform at Tuesday's press conference.

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