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Ambassador Liu Visits BBC


(Ambassador Liu and BBC President Mark Thompson)

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming visited BBC and met with BBC Director-General Mark Thompson on 19 April. Ms. Jessica Cecil, head of Director General’s Office, Mr. Jon Williams, world news editor . Raymond Li, head of BBC Chinese service , Mr. Steve MacAllister, managing Director, BBC Worldwide, Mr. Neil Russell , managing Director and Mr. Jo Floto, designate BBC East Asia bureau Chief , joined the meeting.

While welcoming Ambassador Liu to BBC, Mr. Thompson said that China was a global power and BBC placed great importance on news about China. The two sides have already seen some positive returns in their cooperation. Mr. Thompson said he had visited China twice and looked forward to more chances to go back to China. BBC Beijing Services Branch has been upgraded to East Asia bureau and could become the second largest bureau after Washington DC. BBC, he said, would intensify its coverage on China, reporting particularly more extensively about China, and present a colorful, modern China to its audience so that they could have a better understanding about the country. The two sides do have difference as a result of their very different history and culture. Nonetheless, BBC is willing to listen to China and is committed to mutually-beneficial and win-win cooperation with the Chinese side.

(Ambassador Liu and Mr. Jo Floto, designate East Asia bureau chief )

Ambassador Liu expressed his appreciation about BBC’s attention to China and said the Chinese side likewise attached importance to its cooperation with BBC. BBC in fact is the first radio and TV broadcasting agency that he visited after his arrival in UK to assume his post. Although I am still fresh in UK, said Ambassador Liu, I have already sensed the growing interest in China. The public in UK wants to know more about Chinese culture and history and how China is today. He expressed hope that BBC, as a western media with global influence, would cover China in a more comprehensive and objective way. China and UK have different social systems and cultural traditions. It is absolutely normal that they do not always see eye to eye on certain issues. What is important is the two sides respect each other and work to seek common grounds. The Chinese side welcomes critical views out of good-will. What it cannot accept is distortion in disregard of facts, or hasty and biased generalization about China. I hope, he said, BBC can respect the Chinese culture and tradition, laws and regulations in its news coverage as this contributes to greater confidence and better cooperation between the two sides. The Chinese embassy in UK will continue to provide facility and assistance to British media to interview and report at China, including BBC.

Ambassador Liu updated his host about preparations for Shanghai Expo 2010, saying that the Expo gave fresh impetus to China-UK relations and would become an important window on China for the outside world. He hoped BBC would take an active part in the report.

Ambassador Liu also visited BBC News Room and Election Campaign Studio, where he was briefed on the structure, news report and editing, and business operation of BBC.