Belt and Road News Network (BRNN) was launched as a response to the proposal of “building a news network” by Chinese President Xi Jinping on the occasion of the 1st Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation in 2017, which has won positive response from media organizations worldwide, especially among those in countries and regions along the belt and road .
After the BRF, People’s Daily took the initiative to make extensive contacts with media worldwide and sent invitation to those inclined to together build the Belt and Road News Network. In order to effectively function the network, People’s Daily proposed to establish a BRNN Council and reached a broad consensus.
On April 23, 2019, the First Council Meeting of BRNN was held in Beijing before the opening of the 2nd BRF. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the meeting. Huang Kunming, Member of the Political Bureau and Head of the Publicity Department, CPC Central Committee, attended the opening ceremony, read the congratulatory message from President Xi and delivered a speech.
The first council was composed of 40 media organizations from 25 countries and People’s Daily assumed the chair, responsible for convening council meetings, coordinating and supervising major issues. The Secretariat of BRNN is based in People’s Daily, responsible for everyday operation and council decision execution. The first council meeting deliberated and voted to pass BRNN basic documents, including the BRNN Charter, the Council’s Rules of Procedures, the Annual Work Plan (2019-2020). The website and mobile application of BRNN were launched also on the occasion. Both BRNN and the Silk Road Global News Awards launched by the Network were included in the list of Deliverables of the 2ndBRF.
On December 19, 2022, the Second Council Meeting of BRNN was held in Beijing. Representatives of 38 council members from 23 countries took part in the meeting online or offline. Li Shulei, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a speech at the meeting via video link. People’s Daily, as the BRNN council chair, delivered a report on the work of the first BRNN council. The meeting passed the amended Council’s Rules of Procedures, and agreed to add new members to the second Council. Representatives of the council members expressed their opinions and made suggestions on how to give better play to the BRNN and better promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges. The second council of BRNN is composed of 42 media organizations from 27 countries.
The meeting also confirmed the pre-voting results of the final evaluation of the first Silk Road Global News Awards, and announced the full list of winners and finalists.
Since its inception, BRNN has been following a Silk Road spirit featuring peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit with policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure, unimpeded trade, financial integration and closer people-to-people ties as its main goalsand made effortsas follows: 1) launch the multilingual BRNN website and mobile application platform; 2) carry out activities of various forms such as BRNN media workshop, forums, meetings and joint interviews; 3) launch the Silk Road Global NewsAwards; 4) sign MoU to promote news cooperationand collaboration among members; 5) launch news aggregation and distribution service; 6) release an open letter Together We Fight the War of Pandemic, Together We build the Silk Road of Health of six languages to all members when the pandemic was raging.
To date, BRNN membership has included 218 media organizations from 101 countries.