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China launches crackdown on pornographic literature

Asia, Fri, 21 Nov 2008 IANS

Beijing, Nov 21 (Xinhua) China is launching a national campaign to crack down on pornographic books, videos and websites, the country's press watchdog said.


After a meeting Thursday, the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) and the National Office of Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications (NOAAP) agreed to step up supervision over book sellers near schools and on websites.



The groups, which previouisly kept vigil only in certain areas, would not extend their campaign nationwide to get rid of materials containing sex and violence.



Li Qimin, deputy secretary general of the China National Committee for the Wellbeing of the Youths, called on the government and the public to pay more attention to how children could be dissuaded from reading materials filled with sex and violence.



In a survey of juvenile delinquents in the southwestern Sichuan province, Li and his colleagues found that more than 93 percent had read about or seen books, videos and websites promoting sex or violence.



'These publications circulating in the market are really harmful to children,' Li said.



'There are few healthy publications out there that children are interested in.'



The reason children have more access to morally questionable materials is that pirated DVDs are being illegally sold and there is greater Internet access, he said.



In the past two years, more than 100 million illegal books, magazines and videos had been seized by the government.



It also deleted half a million pieces of questionable information on websites.



Both GAAP and NOAAP said they would continue to supervise bookstores and stands around schools and confiscate books, videos and software they deem inappropriate for children.



The organisations have not elaborated on what is and is not suitable for children.



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