Provisional Regulations concerning Appraisal Standards for Some Publications that Should Be Banned

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Administration of Press and Publications, 3 November 1989

The “Notice concerning Rectifying and Cleaning Up the Book, Newspaper, Periodical and Audiovisual Markets and Strictly Attacking Criminal Activities” promulgated on 16 September 1989 by the CCP Central Committee Secretariat and the State Council Secretariat clearly provides:

“All books, newspapers, periodicals and audiovisual products falling under one of the following categories are banned without exception: propagating bourgeois liberalization or other reactionary content; having grave political errors; having obscenity or sex; having intermittent obscene or sexual content being vulgar or philistine, or damaging the physical and mental health of minors; propagating feudal superstition, murder or violence; where the cover, illustrations, advertising or other publicity material contains the above problems; illegally published books, newspapers, periodicals or audiovisual products”. On the basis of this, in order to smoothly conduct the work to rectify and clean up the book, newspaper, periodical and audiovisual markets, hereby, the following concrete provisions on appraisal standards for some publications that should be banned are made:

I, Publications with “intermittent obscene or sexual content, that are vulgar or philistine, and harmful to the physical and mental health of minors” (simply named “publications with intermittent obscene content”) refers to publications that cannot be determined as being obscene or sexual publications, but has one of the following circumstances, is vulgar or philistine, impairs social morals, lacks artistic value or scientific value, where open display or reading may engender harm to the physical or mental health of common people and especially minors, and publications that even induce minors to commit crime:

1. Describing sexual acts, sexual feelings, striving to display reproductive organs that may lead to an unhealthy mentality among minors;

2. propagating sexual openness or sexual liberation concepts;

3. concretely describing degenerate and corrupt acts, sufficient to cause minors to imitate them;

4. concretely describing the details of rape, adultery, promiscuity and prostitution;

5. concretely describing illnesses related to sexual acts, such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, AIDS, etc., that may cause disgust with common people;

6. other publishing of lewd storylines, that cause disgust with common people or are hard for them to condone.

II, Publications “propagating feudal superstition”, refers to publications that violate science, violate ration and propagate ignorant superstition, apart from religious publications published conform to State provisions:

1. having fortune telling, physiognomy, feng shui or divination as the main content;

2. propagating seeking divine advice, treating illness through exorcism, physiognomy as well as other dissemination of superstitious rumours or incredible information, sufficient to confuse and poison people’s minds and upset social order.

III, Publications propagating “murder and violence” refers to publications that describe murder and other criminal activities or violent acts in a harmful method, sufficient to incite crime, and destroy public order.

1. describing criminal matters, sufficient to lewd minors to sympathize with  or appreciate criminals;

2. describing acts of criminals trampling the law, instigating people to scorn the dignity of the law;

3. describing criminal methods or details, that may induce or encourage persons to imitate criminal activities;

4. describing brutal acts or violent acts that are odd and incredible, or are contrary to human nature, that may cause the common person to feel fear, and may create psychological harm in minors;

5. positively affirming robbery, theft, fraud and other concrete criminal acts.






















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