BEIJING, Dec 19 (APP):Chinese and Russian digital media outlets should strengthen cooperation to inject more vitality into their strategic partnership, participants said at the 2020 China-Russia Online Media Webinar.

Niu Yibing, deputy head of the office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, said at the opening ceremony of the webinar on Friday that the COVID-19 pandemic brought significant increase in global instability, uncertainty, unilateralism, protectionism and hegemony are threatening world peace and development.

The international situation has become more complicated with conflicts and challenges following one after another.

Niu said the two countries have upheld the core status of the United Nations and international fairness and justice, and injected more stability into the volatile international situation.

Though the pandemic restricted people’s communication, Niu said, the internet has made information accessible and played an important role in global anti-coronavirus efforts.

Bella Cherkesova, deputy head of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation, said Chinese and Russian media outlets have played an important role in this critical period when the world is fighting the pandemic.

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She said more and more Russians read Chinese information these days and Chinese media are popular, thanks to deeper cooperation between Chinese and Russian outlets. She said the forum is expected to further promote their cooperation.

Zhou Shuchun, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, said the pandemic has greatly affected the world, and the global economic recovery faces great challenges.

In the first 11 months, trade between China and Russia reached $97.39 billion, and it is expected to exceed $100 billion for the third consecutive year in 2020.

Given the sharp contraction in global trade, this number fully demonstrates the great resilience and potential of bilateral economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia, Zhou said.

Zhou said digital media from both countries should carry out comprehensive and in-depth pragmatic cooperation, enhance communication and play an important role in upholding multilateralism and global strategic stability.

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Moreover, they should make good use of new information technologies, such as artificial intelligence, 5G and big data, to innovate and create more digital media products in new forms.

Ma Li, president of the China Internet Development Foundation, said the pandemic has brought many obstacles to people’s lives and work worldwide, but internet technologies have given full play to its unique advantages in the fight against the pandemic.

In China, netizens have not lost hope because of the epidemic, Instead, they have started a colorful online mode of life, study and work, making their life beautiful amid the pandemic, she added.

The forum, the fourth of its kind, kicked off in Beijing and Moscow via video link. With a focus on the “role of online media in the COVID-19 pandemic”, the forum was co-hosted by China Daily and the China Internet Development Foundation.

Around 100 government officials, experts and scholars, media organizations and representatives from internet companies in the two countries attended.