Chinese Policy Makers Meet in Beijing to Consider Future of Media Reforms

April 19, 2005

The People's Daily reports that Communist Party and government representatives met on March 25 in Beijing to discuss the current status and future direction of China's media reforms. According to the People's Daily, attendees of the "Research Conference on Trends in Media Reform and Development" included senior officials from the Communist Party's Central Propaganda Department, the State Development and Reform Commission, and the General Administration of Press and Publication.

Click "more" below for excerpts from some of the speeches given at the conference.


Shi Feng, Deputy Director of the General Administration of Press and Publication

Rules regarding the nature of Party newspaper groups, enterprises, and work units will not change, and one consistently important goal of reforms is to enlarge and strengthen Party papers as principal media outlets. Although national policies already grant technical periodicals a certain amount of room to reform, it is nevertheless necessary to receive permission before undertaking reforms such as adopting multi-regional or shareholding forms . . . . [I]t is necessary to clarify the goal of the reforms, and that is to establish within newspaper and periodical enterprises leadership by Communist Party committees, government administration, industry self discipline, and administrative management systems for the legal operation of enterprises and work units . . . .

Gao Shusheng, head of the Central Propaganda Department's Reform Development Office

In order to strengthen policy guidance for reform of the cultural system, we must now take the lead in formulating five documents. First, rules regarding the entry of non-state-owned capital into the cultural industry. Second, rules regarding introducing foreign capital into the cultural arena. Third, methods for administering the importation of cultural products. Fourth, policy rules regarding encouraging the spread of cultural products outside of China. Fifth, policy rules encouraging and guiding the development of animation and online games. The former three have already been basically completed, and the latter two have already been formulated, but won't be distributed to lower levels until they have been communicated to the relevant agencies.

Zhang Dongqiang, head of the State Development and Reform Commission's Economic System General Reform Project

After the reform of cultural enterprises and work units, there is a call for the government to continue to change its role, to decrease its direct administration of cultural enterprises and work units, and increase its administration of the cultural enterprises' and work units' profession, in order to ensure that cultural enterprises and work units follow the correct direction, and encourage the organic unity of their social interests and economic interests.

Professor Yu Guoming, head of People's University's Public Opinion Institute

One can use certain technical, structural, and political measures to impose restrictions on traditional media. But although by doing this one can achieve a period of tranquility, it will not solve the basic problem, and is not a long-term safety mechanism. The long-term safety mechanism rests on a foundation of shared information, and only by facing this kind of free sharing, can we then consider how to guide, how to establish regulations, how to carry out administration, this is the only long-term mechanism.