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May 8, 2017

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Culture a pillar of China’s economy

CHINA is planning to develop its cultural industry into a pillar of the national economy by 2020 by upgrading its industrial structure, fostering major brands and boosting consumption, according to a government blueprint made public yesterday.

Issued by the general offices of the Party’s Central Committee and the State Council, the outline for the 2016-2020 period on cultural development and reform specifies the guiding principles, major goals, key projects, as well as policy supports for future cultural reforms.

It says this period is decisive for the goal of building a moderately prosperous society by 2020, and also key for promoting the country’s cultural development.

“Building a discourse system” is listed as one of the major innovative projects in the philosophy of the social sciences under the plan. The outline says research should focus on the Party’s Central Committee’s new governance concepts, ideas and strategies.

The outline also calls for support for specialized high-level think tanks.

The country will help create cultural enterprise groups with core competitiveness and high market share, the outline says.

“Several of them should strive to be among the top in the industry globally by 2020,” it adds.

The government will promote mergers among state-owned cultural enterprises and cross-ownership mergers and acquisitions.

Newspapers and magazine resources should also be merged or reorganized and news and publishing organizations with long-term financial and operational difficulties should be shut down or revamped, according to the outline.

State-owned cultural enterprises are encouraged to use the capital market to grow stronger if conditions allow, it says, adding that asset securitization will be promoted in the industry.

In addition, efforts will be made to run major cultural assets and equity exchange platforms well, and encourage state-owned cultural assets to conduct transactions and test exchanges of TV dramas on these platforms.

China will gradually set up a modern communication system by 2020, the outline says.

It will boost the development of online media by encouraging eligible websites to go public and create new mainstream media institutions and groups during the 2016-2020 period.

Authorities will give support to mainstream media institutions in developing their websites and new media. It will step up efforts to guide and standardize investment in the Internet cultural sector with both state and private funds.

Meanwhile, existing laws and regulations on news and publishing will be extended to cover the management of online media.

“The licensing mechanism on sources of online news should be improved, while management over news gathering and reproduction qualifications should also be strengthened,” the outline says.

The outline also vowed to set up a sound system for online copyright.

The government will intensify management over search engines, instant messaging tools and news apps, and clarify operators’ responsibilities for content disseminated via microblogs or WeChat, it says.

A modern public service network should be in place by 2020 with more standardized and equitable services offered, the outline says.

Apart from major public cultural projects — including museums, galleries, libraries and cultural centers — members of minority groups, disabled people, migrant workers and other special groups will also receive more cultural services.

The government at all levels will be encouraged to purchase public cultural services, and social organizations and companies will be pushed to operate or supply public cultural facilities.

Promising major progress in remote and poor regions, China also plans to build more public cultural facilities, increase access to radio and TV programs, and offer subsidies for grassroots cultural workers, according to the outline.


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