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Saturday, 27 December, 1997, 15:59 GMT
China launches drive against pornography

A winter campaign to crack down on the production and sale of illegal publications and videos has been launched in China, the Saturday edition of the China Daily reported in an article entitled "Action taken to clean up publication market." The National Anti-Pornography Office announced telephone hotlines for reporting illegal activity and said informers would be paid and their identities protected.

The newspaper quoted Yu Youxian of the State Press and Publication Administration as saying that the campaign, which will last until the end of March 1998, "will ban reactionary, pornographic publications, curb the smuggling and piracy of publications and audio-video products and boost the healthy development of the country's cultural market" .

The deputy director of the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, Liu Zhongde, was quoted as saying that more forceful measures had to be taken to counter illicit publications and videos.

"Forceful measures must be introduced to ensure a stable, prosperous publication market and to contribute to a peaceful and united society," Liu said.

Yu Youxian said that efforts would continue to unearth the underground video production industry by encouraging informers with payments as rewards for speaking out.

So far, China has exposed 52 illegal video production lines, and a number of them were discovered thanks to public informers, Yu said.

He added that the country previous years' concentrated winter campaigns since 1990 had yielded excellent results.

Last year 6.48 million illegal audio or video products, including 180,000 pornographic and 1.86 million pirated cassettes, 60,000 electronic publications and 12.61 million copies of printed publications were seized.

Some 1,150 publication markets were shut down, and 1,053 printing houses, 12,000 audio-video programme leasing and broadcasting sites and eight book and audio-visual publishing houses were penalized.

Yu said that as well as the rampant smuggling of pornographic video and electronic products in some areas, attention would also be focused on political publications.

"Publications with serious political problems have appeared in a number of places and there are still people producing and marketing pirated publications and VCDs and other electronic products," he was quoted as saying.

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.


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