Chinese Censorship Agency to Crack Down on Foreign Language Periodicals

May 2, 2005

On April 28, China's official news agency Xinhua reported that the General Administration of Press and Publication ("GAPP") has issued a Notice reminding people that "newspapers and magazines may only be published by publishing work units approved by publishing administration agencies," and informing them that: "in order to safeguard China's periodical publishing order, illegal foreign language publications shall be banned in accordance with the law."

Xinhua stated that the crackdown on foreign language publications is part of the ongoing "Sweep Away Pornography and Strike Down Illegal Publications" campaign. The report stated that some of the publications were publishing "content that is prohibited under the nations' laws and regulations," but did not state what this content was. Previous crackdowns under the campaign have included censorship of political content.

According to Xinhua, the Notice called on publishing administration departments at all levels to "promptly settle the investigations and prosecutions of illegal foreign language periodicals published and circulating in their jurisdiction, to ban and impose appropriate punishments on any illegal behavior, and in the case of criminal offenses, to pursue criminal responsibility in accordance with the rules on operating an illegal business."

The Notice was issued on the same day China's state run media reported that the GAPP had banned 60 newspapers and magazines, and two days after Chinese authorities announced a crackdown on "illegal map making and usage."