There has always been a Western fascination with China: its people, its language, its food, its burgeoning economy. But what is really interesting is that even though there is a growing awareness of China's role on the international stage, there is still very little real understanding about China and the Chinese people.
Stories about China continue to revolve around contentious issues such as media censorship or hacking. Whilst I am in no way arguing that these are not important issues, there is a lot more to China than meets the eye.
The lack of knowledge and understanding creates an obstacle for European-Chinese investment. One way to open up relations between China and the West, and close the gap in knowledge is via Chinese media.
Chinese media outlets are looking to become more transparent, encouraging others to learn about Chinese culture.
Back in 2010, China Daily European Weekly identified a gap within the market for an international print publication presenting international news and commentary from a Chinese perspective and providing European readers with an authoritative information resource on exactly what is going on in China and China's thoughts on what is going on in the world.
One of the key roles that China Daily European Weekly plays is to help European business to bridge these gaps in knowledge by bringing its readership information about China. We see the paper having a leading role in creating greater understanding between the UK, Europe and China, which will encourage increased mutual business investment and exchange -- essentially opening China up to the wider world.
Two years on, it is now the first newspaper from China to have been awarded ABC certification. We regard it as our mission to present a true image of China to the world, and consider this certification an important milestone highlighting our continued commitment to integrate into the European media industry standard. By being ABC certified we have delivered distribution figures our readers and advertisers can trust.
Even with huge successes in the last two years we've learnt that just presenting information is not enough. To really engage our readers and the industry we need to be a fully integrated publisher within the international media industry. ABC certification is our first step to showing the UK and Europe that we mean business and that we are here to stay.
Further integration projects are planned for the near and distant future. We hope that continued support from the industry will help us not only grow, but allow us to showcase the benefits of integration to our counterparts in China and integrate the Chinese media industry into the international system as a whole.