New-look briefing with a Western leaning
THE Chinese Foreign Ministry appears to have accepted that, in some respects at least, it can learn from the US Government.
The new-look Foreign Ministry briefing, revealed in Beijing yesterday, bore a striking resemblance to the US State Department's regular press briefings.
Spokesman Chen Jian stood behind a wooden lectern on a podium with the national flag perched in the background, just as his American counterparts do.
Previously Mr Chen had sat behind a table flanked by an assistant and translator. Now the assistant has gone and the translator sits discretely to one side.
The previous backdrop featuring a traditional Chinese inlay of cranes flying against the moon was covered up by a blue curtain to better show the flag.
Asked if the new setup was modelled on the American one, Mr Chen said in its attempts to improve its efficiency, the Chinese Foreign Ministry learned from many different countries, 'not just the United States'.
'I think, however, we should have a sign here,' said Mr Chen, pointing to the top of the lectern, 'saying 'made in China'.' Unfortunately, part of the ministry's efficiency drive backfired yesterday.
Because of the new setup, microphones which had previously been placed on the table had to be plugged into a central sound box.
And the interference from the sound box was so bad at least one reporter was forced to unplug his microphone and set it up again in front of one of the loudspeakers.
Mr Chen promised further, as yet unspecified, efficiency measures would be introduced later in the year.