SHANGHAI, May 19 /ITAR-TASS/. The 16th Congress of the World Association of the Russiang-Language Press (WARP) opens in this financial and economic center of China on Monday. It has been organized by Itar-Tass and the International Radio of China (IRC), which this year marks the 60th anniversary of the start of broadcasting in the Russian language.
The WARP Congress is held in the People's Republic of China for the first time. It is significant that this big international event will be held on the days of Rusisan President Vladimir Putin's visit to Shanghai.
"It is very important that our Congress has been organized with the participation of the IRC which has been broadcasting in Russian for many years as one of the main popularizers of the Russian language in the country. The study of Russian in China undergoes yet another boom. Russian is not only the language of friendship but also the language of business contacts and new economic policy of our two countries. We shall always be the closest and most well-wishing partners to each other," WARP President Vitaly Ignatenko told Itar-Tass in an interview. Earlier as well, Itar-Tass and IRC, he recalled, jointly held various events, such as the motor rallies 'Beijing-Moscow' and 'Along the Roads of Friendship. Travelling about China', the competition 'Chinese folk sing Russian Songs', the multimedia project 'Hulllo, China', etc.
Participants in the Russian-Language Press Congress will discuss the role of Russian-language media abroad in strengthening the Russian-speaking world, the problems of preserving and developing the Russian-language abroad and the peculiarities of traditional and new media. A separate panel will consider the importance of IRC's Russian-language broadcasting.
At a plenary session, the Russian government's certificates of honour will be presented to representatives of foreign media. A ceremeony will be held to present Yakov Borovoi Prizes "For Personal Contribution to the Development of the Russian-language press". A Memorandum on Cooperation among WARP, Itar-Tass, and the IRC will be signed.
An exhibition on the theme of "Russia-China. Friendship" has been prepared for the Congress on the initiative of Itar-Tass and the Russian State Library (RSL). The exhibition is timed to coincide with the 110th jubilee of Itar-Tass and the the 60th jubilee of the IRC's Russian-language broadcasting service. On view are newspapers, magazines, and posters from the RSL stocks.
A decision to establish WARP was made at the 1st World Russian-Language Press Congress, which was held in June 1999 in Moscow and Sochi. WARP Congresses have become an authoritative platform for meetings and the sharing of experience in work between journalists, publishers, and directors of Russian-language media in various countries. According to the WARP Council, at present Russian-language newspapers, magazines, publishing firms, radio and television networks exist in more than 70 countries. A considerable proportion of them is represented at WARP or cooperate with the Association.