China: authorities ban “unhealthy” and “reactionary” performances



Stricter censorship on performances

‘Unhealthy performances are to be banned’, writes Xinhuanet,, on July 20, 2005

Cultural and art authorities in China will strictly ban 10 kinds of “unhealthy” and “reactionary” performances so as to make the art performance market develop in a healthy and orderly way. The regulation also calls for stricter examination and approval for any performances for commercial purposes.

Xinhuanet writes that according to the newly revised Regulations Governing Commercial Art Performances, no company or individual is allowed to stage performances which run counter to the basic principles of China’s Constitution, jeopardize national unity and security, sovereignty and territorial integrity or infringe upon national interests.

The regulations state that no performances are allowed to stir up hatred or discrimination among different ethic groups, encroach upon the customs and habits of ethnic minorities or hurt their feelings. The performances must not disrupt social order and stability, ruin the fine cultural traditions of the Chinese nation, spread pornography, superstition or violence, or infringe upon people’s legitimate rights. Performances are not allowed to be cruel and harmful to actors both physically and and mentally, and no performances are allowed to solicit audiences using the physical deformities of actors, the regulations state. 

“Great Wall of the airwaves”

The ban on “unhealthy” performances is to be seen in the light of how Beijing is stepping up its control of both the airwaves and the Internet. Chinese radio listeners and Internet users only have a right to news and information controlled by the government.
Reporters sans frontières (RSF) in Paris condemns China’s latest advance in the construction of a “Great Wall of the airwaves”, reacting to the recently-begun jamming of Sound of Hope Radio Network, like Radio Free Asia and Voice of America before it.

Based in San Francisco, Sound of Hope broadcasts four hours a day of news and cultural programmes to China from transmitters outside the country. Significant jamming has been noted in many Chinese cities including Dalian, Fuzhou and Xinjiang since June. At the behest of the National Security Bureau, Public Security Bureau and General Military Intelligence Sector II, its programmes are being drowned out by music or by the broadcasts of China’s Central Radio Station. At best, listeners can catch the odd phrase. At worst, Sound of Hope can no longer be heard at all.


Similar jamming was reported last October by the Voice of Tibet (based in Norway), the BBC World Service, Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. Thanks to transmitters, antennae and other equipment supplied by the French company Thalès, the government has been able to improve its jamming capabilities and can now effectively block short-wave broadcasts by foreign radio stations based in Europe and Central Asia.




Xinhuanet: ‘Unhealthy performances to be banned’
Reporters sans fronti

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