25 Jul 2009

China launches Arabic TV

6:59 pm on 25 July 2009

China has launched an international Arabic-language television channel as part of an ambitious programme to promote the communist country's views abroad.

State-run China Central Television says the new service will broadcast news, entertainment and education programmes 24 hours a day to a potential audience of about 300 million people in 22 countries.

CCTV vice-president Zhang Changming said in a statement the channel "would serve as an important bridge to strengthen communication and understanding between China and the Arab countries."

The network, which already broadcasts in English, French and Spanish, also has plans for a Russian-language service.

The company says the Arabic satellite channel can be received across the Middle East, North Africa and in the Asia-Pacific region.

The move is part of a programme of international expansion by the state-controlled media to promote the image of China abroad.