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China To Restrict Foreign Media

4 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- China says it will bar new foreign television channels and step up censorship of imported programming.

China's Culture Ministry said today in a statement that to "safeguard national cultural safety," the government 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 new limits will be imposed on the number of foreign copyrighted products that Chinese companies are allowed to publish.

The announcement adds to a mounting campaign over the past two years to tighten control over popular culture and keep out material that communist leaders worry is spreading politically and socially dangerous influences.