Like many of the world’s super powers, China is reaching out to the Arab world through propaganda television with recently launched CCTV Arabia. Of course the Beijing government is not alone. It is simply mirroring counterparts in Moscow, Tehran, Washington, Paris and London– all of whom have launched state-backed Arab news channels over the last decade. Ankara is rumored to be next, launching a Turkey-based Arab news channel as well.
But the People’s Republic is spicing things up a bit. In addition to its news and politics coverage, CCTV Arabia is promoting culture– more specifically music videos. With a young chipper host (pictured above) fluent in colloquial Arabic, CCTV is not only introducing Arabs to Chinese pop, it’s also subtitling the videos in Arabic. Here are some screen shots:
It’s not just music. CCTV Arabia also airs TV shows, including Chinese police style dramas, with Arabic subtitles. Viewers may wonder to what extent Bejing’s Arab media policy fits into its wider campaign of signing political, military and economic agreements with Arab states, including a multi-billion dollar refinery expansion deal, billed as the world’s biggest, signed this year with Saudi Arabia.