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SHANGHAI, May 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The 16th Congress of the World Association of the Russian Press (WARP) opened in the Chinese financial and economic centre of Shanghai on Monday. Russian government-run news agency ITAR-TASS and China Radio International (CRI), which marks the 60th anniversary of its broadcasting in the Russian language this year, are co-organizers of the WARP congress.
The WARP congress is held in the People’s Republic of China for the first time. This major international event was timed to coincide with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Shanghai. The Russian president sent a message of greetings to participants in the forum. ITAR-TASS Director General Sergei Mikhailov read out the presidential message.
“Shanghai is surprising linked with Russian world, Russian press,” WARP President Vitaly Ignatenko recalled. He noted the role of China Radio International which has been broadcasting in the Russian language for many years and which is one of its main popularisers in the country. ITAR-TASS and CRI held different joint events earlier, such as motor races “Beijing-Moscow”, “Along the Roads of Friendship. Travelling about China”, contest “Chinese Folk Sing Russian Songs”, multimedia project “Hello, China” and others.
“Today Russian-Chinese relations have reached the best times for their many-century history, relations between China and countries where people speak Russian are developing stably. This also laid foundations for further co-operation between our media outlets. China Radio International uses the Russian language as a link promoting mutual understanding and exchanges between Chinese people and foreign countries,” CRI Director General Wang Gengnian said.
Participants in the WARP Congress will discuss the role of foreign media in strengthening the Russian world, problems of preservation and development of the Russian language abroad and specific features of traditional and new media. A separate section will consider importance of CRI broadcasting on the Russian language. The Russian government's certificates of honor will be presented to representatives of foreign media at a plenary session. A ceremony will be held to present Yakov Borovoi Prizes "For Personal Contribution to the Development of the Russian-Language Press". WARP, ITAR-TASS and CRI will sign a memorandum on co-operation.
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 60th anniversary of the CRI’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 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 chief executives of Russian-language media in various countries. According to the WARP Council, at present Russian-language newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, radio and television networks exist in more than 70 countries. A considerable proportion of them is represented at WARP or co-operate with the Association.