THREE channels from state-run China Central Television, better known as CCTV, will be available in Myanmar through MRTV-4 and Sky Net, officials said last week.
Under the agreement, CCTV-News, CCTV-4 and CCTV-9 documentary channels will be made available to viewers in Myanmar.
Mr Tian Jin, Vice Minister of the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television, said at a launch ceremony at Sedona Hotel in Yangon on October 28 that the agreement between the broadcasters would improve relations between Myanmar and China.
Deputy Minister for Information U Soe Win said it would also give viewers a chance to learn more about China.
“This will build up the relations and understanding between the two countries, which have been friends for thousands for years,” he said.
U Kyaw Win, chairman of Shwe Than Lwin, which operates Sky Net, said he was “very proud” to be able to offer channels from CCTV, one of the largest television networks in Asia, to viewers.
“Myanmar people can know what is happening around the world,” he said.
The speeches were followed by traditional dance shows and Chinese martial arts performances. But journalists hoping to ask questions were left disappointed as officials left immediately after the ceremony.
One news editor who attended the event said he could not enough information at the event to write a “proper” news story.
“I don’t know why they did [not answer questions]. Maybe because it was just an official launch but they should have still let us ask questions,” he said.
He said it was important that Myanmar viewers had access to many different sources of news but questioned whether the Chinese state-run broadcaster would offer balanced reporting.
Ko Hlaing Bwa, editor-in-chief of The Yangon Times, said the agreement with CCTV would “import images of not only [Chinese] culture but also their economic and political views”.
“The more news, the better … but CCTV is limited. We need more channels that can report freely, like CNN.”