News conference date set, media channels open for 20th CPC National Congress
Published: Oct 11, 2022 11:18 PM
Flags at the Tian'anmen Square and atop the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.(Photo: Xinhua)

Flags at the Tian'anmen Square and atop the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.(Photo: Xinhua)

 Less than a week before the convening of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the date of the news conference regarding the congress was set on the coming Saturday, one day before the opening. The announcement of the date came one day after the press center for the Party congress opened on Monday. 

From being shrouded in secrecy to being open, transparent and actively engaging reporters from home and abroad to participate, observers hailed this trend, which is not only mirrored by the openness of the CPC but also reflects the Party's confidence and willingness to get more involved with the world. 

The spokesperson for the 20th CPC National Congress will hold a press conference in the Great Hall of the People on October 15, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday. Journalists can attend the conference at a sub-venue set up in the Century Hall on the third floor of Hotel Nikko New Century Beijing.

On Monday, the website and social media accounts for the press center of the congress opened to facilitate the public's access to information about the big event.

According to a registration form posted by the press center on Tuesday, foreign journalists need to submit applications before 10 am on Wednesday to attend the press conference and the opening ceremony. Due to COVID-19 prevention measures, they need to be quarantined in a designated hotel one day before the event, and a negative nucleic acid result obtained within 24 hours is needed.

Three foreign reporters from Japan, Pakistan and Singapore reached by the Global Times on Tuesday said that they chose to register online for convenience and the press center of the congress also provides various channels for journalists to access information. 

Those channels include opening accounts on WeChat, Sina Weibo and Jinri Toutiao to inform journalists of the contents of the congress meetings, and delegates will take interviews not only on-site, but also in written form or online, according to the press center.

A Japanese journalist who will cover this year's congress remotely from Tokyo told the Global Times on Tuesday on condition of anonymity that his personal expectation of the congress is that "it can clarify how the Party perceives the political, economic and social issues that China is currently facing, and present the path to solving these issues in an easy-to-understand manner."

The number of reporters registered to report on the 20th National Congress has not been revealed as applications have just opened. Yet the 19th CPC National Congress, which convened in October 2017, witnessed a record-breaking number of reporters with 1,818 foreign correspondents and a total of 3,068 reporters registered for the event.

The swarming of foreign reporters registered to report on China's national congresses in recent years not only tells of the world's growing interest in the CPC and China, but also demonstrates the Party's openness and confidence as it speaks out to the world about the Party's stories and elaborates on its policies, Zhang Shuhua, director of the institute of political sciences at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. 

The initial meetings of the National Congress of the CPC were held out of the spotlight. It was only at the 7th National Congress of the CPC in 1945 that the Party published reports about the congress to the outside world. At the 12th National Congress of the CPC in 1982, Zhu Muzhi, then-deputy minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and head of the International Communication Team of the CPC Central Committee, became the first spokesperson for a CPC national congress and presided over news conferences.

Group discussions of delegates were gradually opened to foreign journalists starting with the 15th CPC National Congress in 1997. A total of 34 groups of delegates from the 17th CPC National Congress left more than half an hour for interviews from journalists. The reporters shot delegates with questions covering wide-ranging areas, including then much-watched anti-corruption issues, according to the Xinhua News Agency. 

The 20th National Congress of the CPC, which kicks off amid a complicated international atmosphere, is being closely watched as the policies of the Party are also closely linked with the future path of the world, and it is a "landmark" in the world political evolvement, Fan Peng, research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Political Sciences, told the Global Times. 

Fan said that the CPC has long emerged from the period where it talked only to itself. Being one of the largest political parties in the world and ruling the world's second-biggest economy, passing clear messages via the CPC national congress to the world not only quells doubts and unfounded criticism of the Party, but also helps international society form a correct understanding of what role the CPC and China will play in this ever-changing world.