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Tenth National Mock Spokesperson Competition for University Students Comes to a Close at CFAU

The tenth National Mock Spokesperson Competition for University Students came to a close at China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU) on May 7th 2017. With the title, Ten Years’ Voice of Spokesperson, the competition was hosted by CFAU, sponsored by the Information Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC and co-organized by the Chinese Communist Youth League (CCYL) Committee of CFAU and CFAU Radio.

Many experts and scholars in journalism and media were invited to be judges of the finals, including Yang Yujun, director of the Press Information Office of Ministry of National Defence (MND) of PRC and spokesman of MND, Pan Hejun, Chinese Ambassador to Malawi and former Chinese Ambassador the Republic of Rwanda, Zhang Jianwei, Vice-minister of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of CCYL, Chen Changfeng, Executive Vice-dean of School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University, Wang Liang, Secretary of CCYL Committee of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC, Wang Yi, Executive Vice-president of Zhong Ying Research Institute for Art of Film and TV, Secretary General of the Organizing Committee and Spokesperson of China International Micro-Film Festival (CIMFF). Tian Wei, moderator of CCTV and Shan Xuegang,Executive Deputy Secretary General of the Public Opinion Monitoring Office of People’s network.

This competition attracted over 80 participants from 24 top universities in China including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Renmin University of China and Nankai University. A total of six teams entered the final round. In the end, first prize was awarded to the team from Air Force Engineering University; second prize was awarded to the University of International Business and Economics and University of International Relations teams; and third prize to Tongji University, CFAU and Zhejiang University.

The final started with a speech delivered by Zhang Zhen, deputy secretary of CPC Committee of CFAU. In her speech, Zhang Zhen expressed her gratitude to friends from all walks of life for their support. She further stressed that through hosting a series of national contests for university students such as the Mock Spokesperson Competition, CFAU aims to encourage university students to keep up with major current events happening both at home and abroad, deepen their understanding of national policies and conditions and enhance their ability in communication, emergency response, and critical thinking. Through competition in such contests, contestants will be better prepared for future work and make greater contributions to China’s development.

Then, Yang Yujun, Director of Press Information Office of MND and spokesperson of MND, and Tian Wei, a CCTV moderator, addressed the competition, respectively. Director Yang emphasized that the Mock Spokesperson Competition not only examines the participants’ abilities to respond quickly and in an appropriate manner, but also helps cultivate and improve their comprehensive competence as well. Ms. Tian, as a media professional, talked about the significance of a spokesperson sharing information with the public.

The final was divided into three rounds. In the first round of Q&A, the contestants were mainly tested about their knowledge of basic facts and current affairs. In the second round of impromptu speech, the focus was on their competence in logical thinking and immediate response. In the last round of acting as a spokesperson, the contestants were judged on their overall performance as a spokesperson, especially their responses to the unremitting inquiry of reporters. Following each round were professional comments by the judges, which enabled the participants to obtain valuable advice for further improvement.

During the final, the audience also made comments on the performance of the contestants through wechat wall. Moreover, more than 1,350 people watched on a live stream through a platform named Voice of the Youth and had online discussions. In addition to the formal competition, several other activities were also held, including auditing the regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC, visiting the new media building of People’s Network, as well as organizing professional lectures and parties for students from different universities. These provided a platform for the youth to exchange their views and learn from each other.

With Ten Years’ Voice of Spokesperson, the tenth National Mock Spokesperson Competition for university students demonstrated its innovative development over the past decade. Taking this as a new starting point, we will further familiarize the public with the spokesperson mechanism in China through hosting this competition. CFAU will also inspire university students to have a deeper understanding of, reflect upon and be engaged in journalism and communication, cultivate the communication competence in students, and encourage them to voice their ideas through the media to the public on behalf of people from all walks of life.