Interview of Union Information Minister to China Global Television Net (CGTN)

Union Minister for Information U Maung Maung Ohn had an exclusive interview with China Global Television Net (CGTN) on 18 August 2023. The following is the transcript.
Q: Media cooperation plays a key role in public awareness-raising activities for the Belt and Road initiative. Some Western countries defame and smear the Belt and Road and the image of China and it causes misunderstanding between the people of China and Myanmar. What do you think about the promotion of the Myanmar people’s understanding of the Belt and Road initiative to promote China-Myanmar cooperation? What is the role of media in creating an effective public perception community for maintaining better peace and tranquillity, development and prosperity?
A: Belt and Road is a great sector mainly comprised of culture and mutual communication among the people. If we can use it effectively, it will be a great operation for all. When I arrived at the UN, what I saw is that the world is just like a village as there is no discrimination and all human beings are standing tall in this world. If the countries work together, the world where human beings live will become a more stable and developing site.
Therefore, our country is interested in Belt and Road and willing to participate in it. During my tour to Kunming, I visited the world’s third largest market and the wholesale flower market. If these things are transported to the neighbouring countries and all over the world, it will be a very nice business. Similarly, transporting Myanmar’s products to other countries vice visa the products from here are sent to Myanmar, which will facilitate the livelihood and living standard of people of the two countries.
The Head of the State, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, also emphasizes the MSMEs. We will export the surplus products if we have enough for local consumption. To do so, the Senior General set two national tasks such as national prosperity and food security. The scope of national prosperity is wide. Because, it refers to the food, clothing, accommodation and transport in addition to the prosperity of the people of the two countries. These are the national objectives and priorities of the Senior General. To carry out this objective, we need a good economy for State development as well as stability. If we consider the Belt and Road frankly, it is an effective sector for bilateral relationships and also for the world. It will bring benefits to our country, China and two governments and people of two countries. Therefore, the Belt and Road initiative brings a lot of good programmes. Therefore, we are also eagerly willing to join in this sector.
Q: This year, President Xi Jinping proposed a global socio-cultural initiative and stressed that co-existence, exchanges and mutual learning among different civilizations accepting the different social cultures play an irreplaceable role in advancing humanity’s modernization process and making the garden of world civilizations flourish. How do you understand that initiative? What is the media’s role in promoting the cultures of two countries? What is your idea for media to become a bridge between people of two countries?
A: Myanmar and China have been good neighbouring countries for many years. Now, it reaches Pauk Phaw relationships and promotes bilateral relationships deeply. The National Theater of the country was constructed by China and also Thuwanna Stadium. Currently, the State Administration Council is also negotiating to launch many projects with the help of China.
The Art Centre and then Wazira Cinema. The country will recognize them as “ National Red-Carpet Theatre” and plans are underway to renovate them with Chinese assistance. The Film Archive is one of these plans. These plans are offered as cultural and bilateral relationships. Being a neighbouring country, if the people have positive thinking, the two governments will be also like this and we are neighbouring countries… like the saying goes… a good nation can host its guests. If our neighbouring countries are weak, the powerful neighbouring countries should help them. Similarly, if a powerful nation faces certain problems, we, as good neighbouring countries should help it. We also appreciate the initiatives on cooperation of President Xi Jinping. Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing also makes concerted efforts day and night to ensure stability as much as he can. We sent three Union ministers to trade fairs in Kunming showing the deep emphasis on China in addition to the bilateral relationships and cultural exchanges that President Xi wants.
Our Prime Minister sent three Union ministers to China to promote the economy, social and media sectors. We will beef up the bilateral relationship in the coming years. The media sector is one of these plans. The media field is very wide. If we cooperate, it will develop the friendship between the two countries and reach a future with stability and development. Q: What results did China and Myanmar media achieve under Belt and Road, and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation? The communicative devices are enormously developing and media is transformed into digital systems. So, what potential will the media cooperation of the two countries make in the future? What is your expectation of media cooperation between the two countries?
A: It can be said media influences the world today. The world becomes a village. Each of the global citizens can instantly know what is happening in the world. Media is so swift. Previously, there was no such system and we didn’t know what was happening in certain places of the country. Now, we can even know the current situation of the countries at the edge of the world in a timely manner. The online or internet era is so wide and it has become a key role.
When we look at the situation of Myanmar, the media influence can cause delays in the situation and development of our country. It means … because of misinformation and disinformation. Some countries intentionally spread false information and news about the current situation in Myanmar covering the true news using techniques and other political ways to disable the neighbouring countries and other world countries to access the true information.
When the foreign countries do not know the actual situation of Myanmar, it can lead to misunderstanding and trust loss and it also weakens the bilateral relationships and friendship. Therefore, media is an important sector. The Ministry of Information rebuts false news and disinformation as much as we can and provides the people with true information to a certain extent. However, it still needs to reach out to foreign countries.
Therefore, when we were in Kunming, China, we were likely to cooperate with YMG. There will be steps to reach MoU. Currently, we discuss and exchange information. Then, we arranged to sign a MoU with CMG. If we complete the discussion with Yunnan TV in Yunnan, we will make two steps: one is an information exchange and the No 2 is a mutual visit. We will provide the needed things to be able to study our media condition. Then, it concerns with Entertainment sector that also related to culture. If our people watch the movies featuring cultures and traditions of Chinese people, they will know the culture, nature and attitude of Chinese people. If the Chinese people watch Myanmar movies featuring Myanmar’s culture, they can learn the traditions and culture of Myanmar people comprising different ethnic people. When the people of two countries have a mutual understanding, the bilateral relationship of two governments will become closer and closer.
Our country will not spread false news and misinformation to the world with the help of our neighbouring country, China. When we provide the world with true news and government-approved information on the current situation of our country via the Chinese media outlet, the world can know the actual situation of our country and it will bring stability and development to our country in the future sooner or later.
The visit to Kunming made me feel extremely satisfied. We can see that the media relation gets a proper acceleration. As we have mutual trust and understanding, we can beef up the cooperation in media way to the whole areas including China with closer media cooperation. Thank you. — MNA/KTZH

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