China Radio International signs an agreement with Channel 37 of New Zealand on February 17, 2017, bringing popular TV dramas and films dubbed in English to New Zealand audience. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]
TV audiences in New Zealand will for the first time be able to see Chinese TV dramas and films dubbed in English on a local channel. It's being made possible by an agreement signed on Friday between China Radio International and New Zealand's Channel 37, aimed at bringing CRI's popular China Theatre program to a Kiwi audience.
"Romance of our Parents", a popular Chinese TV drama, will soon be aired on Channel 37, a national TV channel on the New Zealand government's Freeview digital platform, run by the Auckland-based Central Media Group.
This will be the first time English-dubbed Chinese TV dramas will have been shown in Oceania.
In September 2015, China Radio International created China Theatre, a platform for the broadcast of selected Chinese movies and TV dramas that are dubbed into foreign languages. So far CRI has reached agreement with national TV networks in 23 countries, bringing Chinese movies and TV dramas through China Theatre to audiences in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and now Oceania.
Attending Friday's signing ceremony between CRI and Channel 37 in Auckland, CRI Director-general Wang Gengnian said he hoped China Theatre will help New Zealanders better understand China.
"The TV dramas that have been prepared for New Zealand are all representative of the true lives of ordinary Chinese. You can come to understand the value they place on blood relationships, friendship and love and the active and optimistic attitude they have towards setbacks and difficulties. I believe China Theatre will offer New Zealanders more and more outstanding Chinese movies and TV dramas. This will help audiences in the South Pacific region at large understand China and Chinese People in a thorough and vivid manner."
China Theatre has been very popular in some African and Arabic nations and plays a big role in promoting mutual understanding between China and these countries. New Zealand MP Dr. Jian Yang believes that, through the program, one can see China's rising soft power in the world.
"It's a reflection of Chinese soft power. (China) is increasingly confident, and also it's increasingly influential. Through China Theatre, more and more people will understand China better. So in that sense I believe China will become even more influential in the coming years. I believe this particular event will make a great contribution to our community, to our country and to our bilateral relationship."
This year marks the 45th anniversary of China-New Zealand diplomatic ties, which also brings a great opportunity for the two countries to deepen their people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Board member of the New Zealand China Council, Arthur Loo, says introducing China Theatre to his country serves that purpose.
"While the trade relationship between the two countries continues to flourish, it is my strongly held view that people-to-people contact and cultural exchange is equally important, and an understanding of each other's culture can only but help further cement the relationship. I'm confident that the China Theatre project will enhance the mutual understanding and strengthen the relationship between our two countries."
"Romance of Our Parents" will hit the screens in New Zealand soon, with one episode each night at prime time from Monday to Friday.1 2