and support the regime, a new regulation says.
by Zhou Kexin
September 9, 2022
The TV production building of the Chinese Television system. Credits.
The State Administration of Radio and Television has published last month its new “Provisions on the Administration of Radio, Television, and Online A/V Program Production and Business.” The publication is called a “draft for solicitation of comments,” which might have been submitted until September 8. As usual, this exercise in pseudo-democracy will produce only minimal changes to the text (if any).
One after the other, all sectors of the Internet and of entertainment are being subject to stricter regulations, in accordance with comments by Xi Jinping himself, who has claimed that these sectors are “chaotic” and not fully controlled by the CCP.
Besides preventing foreigners from producing audiovisual programs for radio, TV, or Internet broadcasting in China, and limiting production to explicitly authorized companies only, the new regulations include a laundry list of prohibited content.
The most relevant items are included in numbers 1 to 6 of Article 18 of the new regulations, which states that, “The production or distribution of programs with the following content is prohibited:
(A) violating the basic principles established by the Constitution, inciting resistance to or undermining the implementation of the Constitution, laws, and regulations, distorting and negating advanced socialist culture;
(B) endangering national unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, revealing state secrets, endangering national security, undermining national dignity, honor, and interests, promoting terrorism, extremism, nihilism;
(C) denigrating the excellent Chinese traditional culture, inciting ethnic hatred, ethnic discrimination, infringement of national customs and practices, distorting national history or national historical figures, hurting national feelings, and undermining national unity;
(D) distorting, slandering, desecrating, or denying the revolutionary culture, or the deeds and spirit of the heroic martyrs;
(E) being contrary to national religious policy, or promoting xie jiao and superstition;
(F) endangering social morality, disturbing social order, undermining social stability (…)”
Interestingly, the regulations reaffirm the CCP monopoly on how the history of China is told, with any deviation prohibited as “nihilism.”
The usual formula excludes religion, since it refers to the “national religious policy” which prohibits religious activities and information through any media, unless specifically authorized, while any non-negative reference to groups banned as xie jiao or to the very broad field of “superstition”is prohibited.
Finally, the category of “endangering social morality, disturbing social order, undermining social stability” is a catch-all, authorizing the authorities to crack down on any dissent or criticism of the CCP, even if not explicitly listed.