Amid media crackdown, looming crisis within China’s legal system



China is dramatically increasing its restrictions on foreign media operations in the country. Foreign-owned media or joint ventures in China will not be able to publish online without prior approval. The ban, which starts March 10, covers text content, video, maps, games, digital books, art and literature, reports suggest:

Notification of the new restrictions was jointly issued by the State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. One of the new regulations also requires media companies to keep their servers and data storage.

The new regulations appear to be a greater tightening of restrictions that further extends state control over the Internet. China already has considerable restrictions on conventional media, and most foreign TV channels cannot operate widely in the country.

The Communist authorities are taking another step to restrict what can be posted on the Internet in its country by issuing new rules barring foreign companies or their affiliates from engaging in publishing online content there without government approval, The New York Times adds (HT:FPI).

The media crackdown coincides with a looming crisis within China’s legal system, New York University’s Jerome A. Cohen writes for Foreign Policy.

President Xi Jinping has also called for unswerving loyalty from the state media to the ruling Chinese Communist Party, RFA reports, in a move that speaks to the president’s ambition to lead a world superpower and echoes Beijing’s growing concern over its international image:

Last Friday, Xi’s tour of party mouthpieces: The People’s Daily, state news agency Xinhua and state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) made headlines as photos showed fervent media workers holding up banners pledging loyalty to the party….With party propaganda chief Liu Yunshan in attendance, Xi also made a video call to CCTV’s Washington-based North America branch, which opened more than four years ago, Xinhua reported…In a speech to a media symposium the same day, Xi made no bones about the fact that the Chinese media are indivisible from the ruling party.

“The fundamental issue of the party’s media work is to strictly adhere to the party’s leadership,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying. “All news media run by the party must work to speak for the party’s will and its propositions and protect the party’s authority and unity,” he said, calling for more “Marxist” education for China’s journalists.

China has stepped up its efforts over the past year, most recently during the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen. If successful, this initiative could have wide consequences for not only the Internet, but also for a wide range of industries, the media, and information accessibility.

Please join a discussion on China’s initiative to promote Internet sovereignty as a key governing concept of the global Internet.

China’s “Internet Sovereignty” Initiative: Origins and Consequences 

A discussion with

James A. Lewis, Director of the Strategic Technologies Program, CSIS

Xiao Qiang, Adjunct Professor, School of Information, UC Berkeley
Founder and Editor-in-Chief, China Digital Times [a National Endowment for Democracy grantee]

Amy Chang, Staff Director, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives 

John Lenhart, Director of Global Policy, Information Technology Industry Council 

Moderated by

Scott Kennedy, Deputy Director of the Freeman Chair in China Studies and Director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy, CSIS

Monday, February 29, 2016

2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Register via email to

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