Date: May 16 2012
CHINA'S biggest English-language newspaper is to publish a weekly African edition with bureaus in at least two countries on the continent.
The African operation of the state-run China Daily will generate a range of Africa-specific content. It is to be based in Johannesburg, South Africa, with another office pencilled in for Nairobi, Kenya.
The aim is to promote China's interests in Africa, particularly mineral exploitation and easy immigration policies, and to counter what is seen in some countries as a negative reputation, a source said.
''This is a massive thing,'' the source said. ''China sees Africa as the ultimate source of the minerals it needs for economic growth.''
China's state media have been given hundreds of millions of dollars to strengthen the country's voice in the world. At the forefront is the recent opening of a China Central Television operation in New York.
It is not clear how widely China Daily's African edition will be published or who its target readership is. ''I don't think that is the priority now,'' the source added. ''This is a symbolic move. They are working it out as they go along.''
In Johannesburg there will be a bureau chief and two staff, relying on freelancers for content, the source added.
South African newspaper City Press said the paper will be for South Africans and focus on business news. It quoted Gao Anming, China Daily's deputy chief editor, as saying: ''It will aim to introduce China to the world and present news with a Chinese angle.''
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