August 19, 2005
Written by C.N.
Earlier I had an entry about how Time Magazine (reflecting the sentiments of many observers and analysts) asked the question of whether the 21st century would be dominated not by the U.S. but by China, as it continues its economic, political, and cultural emergence as a true world superpower. Well, the Associated Press reports that China has just announced new restrictions and censorship guidelines on foreign media:
China will bar new foreign television channels and step up censorship of imported programming, the Culture Ministry announced, adding to a sweeping effort to tighten the communist government’s control over popular culture. In an effort to “safeguard national cultural safety,” the government also will tighten controls over the 31 foreign television satellite broadcasters that hold licenses to operate in China.
The government also will ban new licenses for companies to import newspapers and magazines, electronic publications, audiovisual products and children’s cartoons, the ministry said. It said new limits will be imposed on the number of foreign copyrighted products that Chinese companies are allowed to publish. . . .
The measures are a dramatic step back from more liberal rules unveiled late last year to open China’s media market. . . . communist leaders are reluctant to give Chinese broadcasters free rein to form foreign ties, concerned it might erode official controls over what censors refer to as “political standards” of broadcasts. Regulators frequently cite foreign culture as a source of unwholesome influences in Chinese broadcasting.
Unfortunately, this is further proof that China is still dominated and tightly controlled by a totalitarian regime and therefore not even close to resembling anything like a democracy. It also means that China still has a long, long way to go before people like me will legitimately consider it to be a true world superpower.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "China Democratizing? Yeah Right" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2005/08/china-democratizing-yeah-right/> ().
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