Soong Ching Ling and China Today

  • May 24, 2011
  • Editor: Sarah Wang
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China Today (formerly China Reconstructs) was founded by Soong Ching Ling, then vice-chairman of the Central People's Government and president of the China Welfare Institute, in 1952, at the proposal of Premier Zhou Enlai. When the two met in October 1950, Premier Zhou suggested that Soong Ching Ling found a magazine to introduce new China to the rest of the world. Soong Ching Ling gladly took on his suggestion, which tallied with her idea of " establishing international organizations... to introduce to the people of various countries the achievements made by the Chinese people in building a new country through self-reliance, " which she put forth back in 1949.

Soong Ching Ling met with Chen Hansheng, a specialist in international issues, Jin Zhonghua, an old friend experienced in international communications, and Israel Epstein, the internationally known journalist, in early 1951. Their common aim was to make preparations for the founding of the magazine, starting with choosing a suitable name and defining the guiding principles upon which it would run. The new bimonthly periodical was named China Reconstructs, and its guiding principle was " putting emphasis on the reporting of China's development in the fields of society, economy, culture and education, and welfare, in order for the broadest strata abroad to gain an understanding of the developments in China's construction and the people's efforts in these fields." Soong Ching Ling said, "I hope that what we have done and our future efforts will make our magazine a powerful force in introducing China to the world and promoting peace." "Substantial in content with articles in simple language " was the agreed writing style of the new periodical.

Soong Ching Ling [chinatoday.com.cn]

Soong Ching Ling [chinatoday.com.cn]

Soong Ching Ling often wrote leading articles for the magazine. She scrutinized each new issue, making relevant comments and giving constructive criticism.

As regards the magazine content, Soong Ching Ling suggested, "Besides articles on industrial and agricultural construction, we should also include the fields of culture and arts, so that the content of this magazine is colorful." "Our reports should take into consideration their significance to China and the world, as well as the realities of our country. Meanwhile, we should also be mindful of how to counteract the propaganda machine of imperialism."

Soong Ching Ling stressed that the magazine's layout design, pictures and art works should be vivid and agreeable to the eye.

Distribution being a crucial aspect of a publication aimed at foreign readers, Soong Ching Ling said: "We must make careful consideration of what to do and how to do it in the field of promotion." "We are in a highly competitive field, and should do what we can to use all possible methods in our work. " She personally distributed the magazine abroad, and for many years sent dozens of copies to friends overseas in the name of Lin Tai, to expand the magazine's influence.

Madame Soong also paid great attention to communications with readers. She had friends all over the world, and often wrote letters to them, soliciting their opinions on magazine articles and pictures. She personally replied to readers'letters, establishing the magazine's tradition: "reply to every reader's letter, " which has been of vital importance in maintaining close readership ties.

Soong Ching Ling's legacy included more than 20 of the letters and articles that she had written from 1950, when she began preparations to found the magazine, to 1981 when she passed away. In her article commemorating the 10th anniversary of the founding of China Reconstructs entitled "The Tradition of Truthful Reporting," she recalled the years during the Chinese War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression when she founded the China Defense League and its Newsletter, and how effectively it let the world know about China's actual conditions, drawing a parallel between the Newsletter and China Reconstructs. She wrote, "Recalling the past decade, we have kept the tradition of truthful reporting; Looking to the future, we will loyally serve the truth as we did in the past." "Truthful reporting" became the fundamental principle of China Reconstructs, later renamed China Today .

With the help and guidance of Soong Ching Ling and Premier Zhou Enlai, China Reconstructs gradually formed its own style of presentation to overseas readers, as a publication that is run by a non-governmental organization and upholding the tradition of truthful reporting and speaking through facts. Its contents, on the basis of the Chinese people's livelihood, were varied and colorful. China Reconstructs articles were interesting, in simple language, and accompanied by pictures that reflected the changes that had taken place in new China. This is the style it retains to this day.

When China Reconstructs was founded in 1952, it consisted of one English edition and six staff members. Its circulation was just a few thousand. By 1981, when Soong Ching Ling passed away, China Reconstructs had expanded to seven languages, including English, Spanish, French, Arabic, German, Portuguese and Chinese, and its staff members to 100. Each issue had a circulation of about 200,000 copies to more than 140 countries and regions.

Under Soong Ching Ling's guidance, China Reconstructs developed into an important window on China's image for the international community, and a means to enlighten Western public opinion as to China's true state of affairs. It inherited and carried forward the fine tradition of truthful reporting established by Soong Ching Ling, and made its due contribution to promoting understanding and friendship among peoples of various countries and China, and to world peace and progress.

(Source: chinatoday.com.cn)

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Soong Ching Ling and China Today2011-05-24   Editor: Sarah Wang   Source: 

China Today (formerly China Reconstructs) was founded by Soong Ching Ling, then vice-chairman of the Central People's Government and president of the China Welfare Institute, in 1952, at the proposal of Premier Zhou Enlai. When the two met in October 1950, Premier Zhou suggested that Soong Ching Ling found a magazine to introduce new China to the rest of the world. Soong Ching Ling gladly took on his suggestion, which tallied with her idea of " establishing international organizations... to introduce to the people of various countries the achievements made by the Chinese people in building a new country through self-reliance, " which she put forth back in 1949.

Soong Ching Ling met with Chen Hansheng, a specialist in international issues, Jin Zhonghua, an old friend experienced in international communications, and Israel Epstein, the internationally known journalist, in early 1951. Their common aim was to make preparations for the founding of the magazine, starting with choosing a suitable name and defining the guiding principles upon which it would run. The new bimonthly periodical was named China Reconstructs, and its guiding principle was " putting emphasis on the reporting of China's development in the fields of society, economy, culture and education, and welfare, in order for the broadest strata abroad to gain an understanding of the developments in China's construction and the people's efforts in these fields." Soong Ching Ling said, "I hope that what we have done and our future efforts will make our magazine a powerful force in introducing China to the world and promoting peace." "Substantial in content with articles in simple language " was the agreed writing style of the new periodical.

Soong Ching Ling [chinatoday.com.cn]

Soong Ching Ling [chinatoday.com.cn]

Soong Ching Ling often wrote leading articles for the magazine. She scrutinized each new issue, making relevant comments and giving constructive criticism.

As regards the magazine content, Soong Ching Ling suggested, "Besides articles on industrial and agricultural construction, we should also include the fields of culture and arts, so that the content of this magazine is colorful." "Our reports should take into consideration their significance to China and the world, as well as the realities of our country. Meanwhile, we should also be mindful of how to counteract the propaganda machine of imperialism."

Soong Ching Ling stressed that the magazine's layout design, pictures and art works should be vivid and agreeable to the eye.

Distribution being a crucial aspect of a publication aimed at foreign readers, Soong Ching Ling said: "We must make careful consideration of what to do and how to do it in the field of promotion." "We are in a highly competitive field, and should do what we can to use all possible methods in our work. " She personally distributed the magazine abroad, and for many years sent dozens of copies to friends overseas in the name of Lin Tai, to expand the magazine's influence.

Madame Soong also paid great attention to communications with readers. She had friends all over the world, and often wrote letters to them, soliciting their opinions on magazine articles and pictures. She personally replied to readers'letters, establishing the magazine's tradition: "reply to every reader's letter, " which has been of vital importance in maintaining close readership ties.

Soong Ching Ling's legacy included more than 20 of the letters and articles that she had written from 1950, when she began preparations to found the magazine, to 1981 when she passed away. In her article commemorating the 10th anniversary of the founding of China Reconstructs entitled "The Tradition of Truthful Reporting," she recalled the years during the Chinese War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression when she founded the China Defense League and its Newsletter, and how effectively it let the world know about China's actual conditions, drawing a parallel between the Newsletter and China Reconstructs. She wrote, "Recalling the past decade, we have kept the tradition of truthful reporting; Looking to the future, we will loyally serve the truth as we did in the past." "Truthful reporting" became the fundamental principle of China Reconstructs, later renamed China Today .

With the help and guidance of Soong Ching Ling and Premier Zhou Enlai, China Reconstructs gradually formed its own style of presentation to overseas readers, as a publication that is run by a non-governmental organization and upholding the tradition of truthful reporting and speaking through facts. Its contents, on the basis of the Chinese people's livelihood, were varied and colorful. China Reconstructs articles were interesting, in simple language, and accompanied by pictures that reflected the changes that had taken place in new China. This is the style it retains to this day.

When China Reconstructs was founded in 1952, it consisted of one English edition and six staff members. Its circulation was just a few thousand. By 1981, when Soong Ching Ling passed away, China Reconstructs had expanded to seven languages, including English, Spanish, French, Arabic, German, Portuguese and Chinese, and its staff members to 100. Each issue had a circulation of about 200,000 copies to more than 140 countries and regions.

Under Soong Ching Ling's guidance, China Reconstructs developed into an important window on China's image for the international community, and a means to enlighten Western public opinion as to China's true state of affairs. It inherited and carried forward the fine tradition of truthful reporting established by Soong Ching Ling, and made its due contribution to promoting understanding and friendship among peoples of various countries and China, and to world peace and progress.

(Source: chinatoday.com.cn)