Freedom of expression restricted

According to a radio broadcast from VOA on 27 January 1997, the long-anticipated regulations on all publications has been formally declared by the Chinese Government’s State Council.

Materials including books, radio, television and audio cassettes must first undergo a thorough scrutiny before they are permitted to be published. The publications should propagate the merits of socialism and educate the masses on socialist beliefs.

The regulations on publications allow commentaries on the general functioning of the PRC government. However, writings which are considered to threaten the public interest will not be approved.

The regulations also declare a stop on the publication of the following subjects; “blind faith” (religious belief), violence and desire or longing. The publisher should seek formal permission from the government regarding the publication expenses and the editor has the sole responsibility for the overall content of the publications.

The Social Science Department has already taken steps to eliminate opposition to the PRC Government. Sang Rhu Tuiyi, the Vice Chairman of the Department has noted that those who oppose and hold reactionary thoughts with regard to Marxism and Chinese leaders must be eradicated. All the publications should be properly scrutinised before being disseminated and the official proof-reader should have “the right political direction”.

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