A media training program was launched in Beijing on Tuesday that aims to draw countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization closer.
The first media exchange program of the SCO branch of the China Center for International News Exchange was hosted by the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs and Beijing Foreign Studies University.
The three-month training program attracted 12 reporters from among the five SCO member countries.
The journalists will take courses covering China's national conditions and will travel around the country.
Sadyk Akizhanov, a reporter from Kazinform, the national news agency of Kazakhstan, will participate in the full program in China. Akizhanov hailed China, currently holding the rotating SCO presidency, for actively preparing various cultural exchange programs, including media cooperation.
President Xi Jinping introduced a proposal for media cooperation during the SCO's Astana Summit last year.
Li Minggang, deputy director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' information department, stressed the importance of the exchange of reporters from the member countries.
By participating in the exchange, reporters will be able to witness the achievements China has made over its 40 years of reform and opening-up, and to feel the friendship of the Chinese people, Li said.
China will host the SCO summit this year in Qingdao, Shandong province. It is expected to be a new milestone in the history of the SCO, Li said.
"It is necessary that journalists from our neighboring countries meet and support each other and then play a fundamental role as cultural messengers in exchanges between SCO countries," Li said.
Sun Youzhong, vice-president of Beijing Foreign Studies University, said the university will help the foreign reporters have a better understanding of China's 5,000-year-old culture.