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Ambassador Fu Ying Visited the Headquarters of Financial Times

On 20 June 2007, Ambassador Fu Ying visited the headquarters of Financial Times and had a business lunch with Lionel Barber, editor of FT, Martin Dickson, Deputy Editor, Martin Wolf , Chief Economics Commentator, and Zhang Lifen, editor of Chinese.FT.com.

Mr. Barber greeted Fu Ying at the gate of the headquarters and accompanied her to visit the office of Financial Times, briefing her on FT's staff, structure and publishing process. According to Barber's introduction, Financial Times defines itself as the global newspaper and conducted lots of adjustments and reforms for this purpose, for example, it changed the "foreign news desk" to "world news desk", which means altering the narrow perspective of distinguishing between domestic and foreign news and stressing the globalization of its news perspective. Financial Times has four editions of US, Asia, Europe and Britain with more than 500 correspondents all over the world. After collecting, selecting and editing the news worldwide, London headquarters published the newspapers. Mr. Barber said although the circulation of Financial Times could not catch up with those of others, it is an important information source of world news for its dedication to accurate, fair and true reports with global coverage. Fu Ying thanked Mr. Barber for his introduction and said she was a long-term reader of Financial Times.

During the lunch, the two sides probed into issues such as China and international relations, China's international responsibility and how foreign countries regard China. Martin Wolf said, having had the capacity to forge international environment and rules on the basis of its rapid economic development of scale and growing international influence, China may be the first developing country to undertake heavy international responsibility, which requires China to play a more active role in the world. Moreover, the international society is showing great concern over China and hopes it will provide accurate and credible information in line with international standard. The media always have to depend on the explanations of intermediary to comprehend policies and data of Chinese authority and enterprises not only due to lack of accessible information from China, but the policies and documents are difficult for the readers unfamiliar with the characteristics of Chinese to understand on grounds of translation or other reasons. It is to be hoped that China will make improvement in this aspect.

Fu Ying pointed out that following its economic development and rising international influence as well as more demand for international environment and market, China needs to play a constructive role in the international system, to which Chinese government attaches great importance. China already undertook the international responsibility on issues of climate change and African development and so on. Of course, during the process of reform and opening up, China still faces many difficulties and challenges including imbalance of domestic development, so domestic construction and development will remain its focus over quite a long time. Having realized the close link between its own development and the world, China will pay more attention to international factors and influences in formulating various policies.

Regarding the international media's coverage on China, Fu Ying noticed Financial Times is increasing its reports on China, in the meantime, paying close attention to practical problems and policy directions during its development, especially reporting some important policies and measures publicized in China promptly. It's normal that some international media report negative phenomena in Chinese society, as Chinese media themselves also look after revealing the existing problems, which helps urging improvement. Some western media, however, instead of carrying the reports through, always report on sensational events only without the measures adopted for disposal and improvement or settlement of issues, which will mislead the readers to consider the problems are always there. She hoped the media will keep to the objectivity, integrity and continuity of the reports. Barber approved of her point of view and indicated to pay attention to it.

Barber expressed the wish of visiting China this autumn to prepare for "China Special Report". Fu Ying expressed her welcome and suggested that he go to western China to have a look besides visiting Beijing and Shanghai so as to increasing comprehensive understanding of China. Fu Ying also talked about the issues of common concern including nuclear issue of Korean Peninsula, China-US strategic economic dialogue, Sino-African relations and China's military expenditure, etc.