Fiji Sun Journalist 2nd In Global Essay Competition

More than 100 writers from 42 countries took part.
18 Apr 2019 09:08
Fiji Sun Journalist 2nd In Global Essay Competition
Fiji Sun senior journalist Fonua Talei.

Fiji Sun senior journalist Fonua Talei has won second place in a global essay competition on China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

More than 100 writers from 42 countries took part. Ms Talei was one of the six second place winners.

The contest was organised by the China Global Television Network (CGTN).

It invited participants to share their stories on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Entries came from Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.

Essay Topic

Ms Talei’s essay was titled: Breathing New Hope in Fiji.

She is in China as part of the 10-month media development programme based at the China Asia Pacific Press Centre in Beijing and hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association.

Speaking from Beijing yesterday Ms Talei said participating in the competition was a chance for her to write about the impact that the BRI has on ordinary Fijians through infrastructure development.

“I did not think that I would be picked for a prize because we were informed that people from all over the world were participating,” she said.

Ms Talei has just returned from Hainan Province where she covered the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).

She covers other major international events, while attending Renmin University, one of the most prestigious in China, and Beijing International Chinese College where she studies Chinese.

Judges Comments

CGTN judges were happy to share their impressions about the contest and the articles submitted to the jury. Here are their comments.

Zhang Yanqiu, professor and director of the African Media Research Center at Communication University of China, said this activity was very well designed and organised.

“It created an opportunity for CGTN’s international audience, especially young international students, to contribute their own views on the BRI.

“Their observations, reflections and recognition of the BRI could be clearly identified in these essays.

“Some of the essays were very impressive and touching, actually.

“I can see that the BRI has been largely welcomed by these participants, who not only expressed their interest and confidence in the BRI but also shared their expectations,” Mr Zhang said.

Nicholas Moore, international editor, CGTN Digital said the BRI was a project on an enormous scale, both in terms of ambition and sheer size.

“As reporting focuses on political declarations being signed or the billions of dollars being invested, it can be easy to forget that ordinary people around the world are at the center of the BRI.

“That is why this essay competition is so important – real people telling real, personal stories about their homes and hopes for the future.”

Adding that BRI is all about change and development, and we can’t tell that story without first- hand accounts – thank you to all entrants for sharing your stories.”

Xia Jixuan, former deputy director of China Radio International said their BRI perspectives and stories were as different as their origins, but their conclusions are similar.

“Despite some doubts and suspicions, the BRI has proven – by personal stories and factual numbers – to be a feasible solution to the most urgent problems for developing countries: acute shortage of funding vs poor infrastructures, and yearning for a better life vs lack of employment, to name but a few.”

He said many participants agree that when they face new challenges, they need to work out ‘upgraded’ plans by drawing wisdom from past success while adapting to new conditions instead of resorting to old-fashioned zero-sum mentality.

Sim Sim Wissgott, international editor, CGTN Digital said: “I especially enjoyed the personal stories by writers for whom the BRI is not just a series of figures and statistics, but has had an impact on their lives and the lives of those around them.

“I wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”

Andy Mok, a non-resident fellow with Center for China and Globalisation, said: “The BRI is a glorious contribution from China to bring stability and prosperity to people all over the world.”

Ms Mok said: “It has inspired multitudes from a host of countries and all walks of life and given them hope for a brighter future.”


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