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China launches Arabic language TV channel

China's state run television CCTV launched an Arabic-language channel for the Middle East and Africa as part of the government's efforts to expand its relations with the Arab and Muslim world.

world Updated: Jul 26, 2009 14:20 IST

China's state run television CCTV launched an Arabic-language channel for the Middle East and Africa as part of the government's efforts to expand its relations with the Arab and Muslim world.

The new 24-hour Channel launched yesterday will reach 300 million people in 22 Arabic-speaking countries.

This is China's fourth foreign-language channel after English, French and Spanish.

"The launch of the Channel is a great step forward in the process of strengthening CCTV's international communications capacity. The channel, covering 22 Mideast countries and nearly 300 million people, will greatly enhance our global influence," Jiao Li, president of China Central Television (CCTV), said.

CCTV Arabic will produce all types of programmes, including news, feature stories, entertainment and education. The new channel is available through Nilesat and Arabsat services for viewers in the Middle East.

The channel will serve as a window for the Arabic world to know about China.

Expanding global influence is a vital part of CCTV's strategy and preparations are underway for the launch of a Russian Channel.

China gets more than half of its imported oil and natural gas from the Middle East, while countries in the region look to China for investments.