Global English news channel launched

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The news agency run by China's ruling Communist Party launched a global English-language television channel yesterday as part of efforts to expand Chinese influence abroad.

Observers say Beijing is unhappy about much of the international coverage of sensitive events in China such as Tibet and human rights. The government has accused international media organisations of being biased and focused on negative news.

China Xinhua News Network Corp (CNC) began broadcasting its first English TV service, CNC World, around the clock yesterday, including news segments, feature stories, weather updates and special bulletins, the news agency said.

"The English service will provide international and China news with a Chinese perspective to global audiences," said CNC president Wu Jincai at a news conference. CNC World has started broadcasting in Hong Kong and will continue to expand to Europe, North America and Africa by the end of the year, he added.

CNC World will carry about 70 per cent international news and 30 per cent news about China – with breaking news, travel shows, sports and weather, Mr Wu said.

Although critics are sceptical of the ability of China's news industry to compete abroad, Yuen-ying Chan, media director of the University of Hong Kong, said the potential impact of China's media expansion should not be downplayed.