back to article China censors drop the soap operas, sitcoms

A disturbing trend toward ever-greater censorship in China has seemingly crossed a line with the banning and blocking... well, fun, basically. Today's headline is that the communist government in charge has formally banned pop star Justin Bieber from performing in the country due to his "bad behavior," but a far more insidious …

Anonymous Coward

"And that is causing concern that the next Tiananmen Square could be coming up, as the burgeoning young population starts to view their government as less a benevolent dictator than an interfering and possibly negative influence in their lives."

That rings true for Theresa May's vision for England and in varying degrees for other parts of the UK.

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Maybe a step too far in China. If you're going to keep the proles down-trodden, it's normally wise to allow them the bread and circuses. If you cut that down to half a stale floury bap and an ancient clown you may start to get trouble.

Sadly UK proles may turn out to be just as subservient as the Chinese ones. As long as they don't stop Love Island and that dating thing where people take their clothes off.

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Anonymous Coward

Given its population trend, it may well feel a good chunk of it is expendable at this point. Remember, we're talking the Far East where "Life is fleeting, honor is eternal" has real meaning.

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Coat

"That rings true for Theresa May's vision for England and in varying degrees for other parts of the UK."

Excellent news, I can't wait! No more Justin Bieber, Take That, Jedward, Eastenders, Big Brother, TOWIE, Kardashians etc. etc.

I'm sure we'll be allowed to keep Black Adder and Dad's Army, and maybe even Poldark (the 70's version, obviously)...

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"I'm sure we'll be allowed to keep Black Adder "

Not a hope, far too left wing. It takes the piss out of the aristocracy, the military, the Royals and all those other things that May wants us to think positively about while accepting a lower standard of living to keep Rees-Mogg's nanny happy.

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"And that is causing concern that the next Tiananmen Square could be coming up, as the burgeoning young population starts to view their government as less a benevolent dictator than an interfering and possibly negative influence in their lives."

Someone needs to cut back on the funny drugs.

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Anonymous Coward

Comrade Hillary?

So the rumors are true - Hillary Clinton is running China.

(During the waning days of Bill's administration and the rise of the internet, Hillary wanted to make it illegal for any website not sponsored by Washington to criticize the U.S. government.)

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Childcatcher

Re: "I'm sure we'll be allowed to keep Black Adder "

What about Doctor Who??

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Anonymous Coward

To be fair at least China is honest with it's policy.

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There's no fair or honest about it. It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world. Unfortunately the more we do business with them and the more they buy up our industry and we in the west become more dependent upon the Chinese for jobs, their tentacles are going to spread further. Take a look at the BBC article on the new Silk Road and tell me when you read it in this context it doesn't send a chill down your spine.

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Anonymous Coward

"It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world!"

Sorry if the world isn't just like you and your ideologies, shit happens.

Edit: Lets just bomb them, that'll work, it worked every other time before.

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Ok, so people being free and able to express themselves are not your thing, wow. It's amazing whenever there's any of the slightest criticism of China's regime in the Reg comments it attracts many down votes.

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Meh

I wouldn't worry about it. The False Equivalency Brigade comes out any time there's a political discussion. To them, "nuance" is just a word.

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Anonymous Coward

It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

Judge not lest you be judged - Matthew 7:1-3

While the Chinese model is not to everybody's liking (myself including!), it is impossible to deny that it worked remarkably well for the majority of that country's population. At this point, China has a larger middle class than the entire population of the United States, and is on track to have almost 1/2 of its entire population in this income bracket within the next five years. Visiting China's major population centres (the countryside is an entirely different kettle of fish), it is impossible not to be impressed by how much their public infrastructure has improved - to the point where it puts most of the North American and European cities to shame.

One might even argue that these remarkable achievements, which happened in less than a generation, would not not have been possible without the political stability bought at the cost of brutal suppression of the political and cultural dissent. We can and we should try to nudge the Chinese towards more civilized ways of dealing with the dissent, but calling them a "disgusting regime" is way over the top.

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Big Brother

Re: It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

these remarkable achievements [...] would not not have been possible without the political stability bought at the cost of brutal suppression of the political and cultural dissent

Yes, it's awesome how Chinese citizens can enjoy riding on a smooth new road on their way to an indefinite prison term for unspecified crimes against the state. On-time trains are another great benefit.

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Anonymous Coward

I wasn't championing China's regime at all I was making the point that at least they are up front about what they are doing unlike our weasel governments who use our mainstream press as lackeys. Here is my stick, make sure you get the right end before replying.

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Holmes

"It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world."

Which ones - ones that intrusively regulate everything you are allowed to see on the television? Britain for instance? And charge you a massive TV tax to do it for you?

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Anonymous Coward

@Martin

They banned Justin Beever, soap opera's and sitcoms so I'm sorry they are the greatest regime in the world, I can now overlook their human rights record though to be fair you must be a bit deluded if you honestly believe we or any western country are any better.

Our press make out they are bad and their press make out we are bad. I thought everyone understood this?

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I fully agree with you (and them) on Bieber.

I think for all of our faults our country is better and we have much more freedom. Until it is taken away from us we take what we do have for granted.

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Re: It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

I just want to point out that the U.S. achieved all of that without having all the brutality. It's easy to see the outcomes and think it's great unless you were one of the people that starved under Mao. Great things can come of evil but I'd question why it justifies the means.

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Re: It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

They have several distinct advantages. A blank starting sheet, access to the state of the art of the west, more money than God, and the ability to freely copy anything their western contractors do in China and merge it with any other tech they copied.

This means they have no barrier to the nextgen tech the West won't allow itself to make due to those same IP laws China is laughing at.

The industriousness of the Chinese man in the street was demonstrated by Hong Kong. I'm not actually sure how many (if *any*) of the advances are due to, rather than in spite of, the Glorious Leadership.

I *do* however empathise with the Communist leadership - their entire system relies on keeping a *gigantic* dragon drugged and chained, at a fraction of its power, because if it were suddenly released, China would immolate itself and probably everything nearby. That they accomplished this gargantuan feat of Order is nothing short of astounding! That doesn't however stop it being a really silly thing to do. They basically live in terror now, looking at how fast this thing is growing, needing new chains every day.

Silly sausages. Humans have always moved forward through the illogical art of constantly almost falling over.

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The UK is moving towards this, at least China has reasons for its policies, to preserve the country, a revolution would be so devastating that the whole world would feel it for decades.

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Anonymous Coward

re: BBC article on New Silk Road

right here and an excellent read:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/new_silk_road

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

I just want to point out that the U.S. achieved all of that without having all the brutality.

But did it really? The US is a pretty pleasant place to live in, provided that you are from the right social background and have a bit of luck. It can also be pretty nasty if you are not. For example, the US prison population is quite a bit higher than China's, both per capita and, amazingly, also in the absolute number:

Country Prison population Population per 100,000

US 2,193,798 737

CHINA 1,548,498 118

RUSSIA 874,161 615

China is certainly a police state which oppresses its citizens terribly - but if you are looking for the beacon of social justistice we should all aspire to become, it is not the US either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

Its easy to build new infrastructure when a generation ago they only had muddy roads everywhere and where most of the "remarkable achievements" came from the Gov't hacking Multinationals to get ready made plans..

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Mushroom

Re: It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

more money than God

Everyone has more money than God.

Unfortunately that's the sort of "money" that is falling off the printing presses like dog turd.

If the West (or the "Western Elites") would stop their pretend-rich Keynesianism and would stop borrowing from the future (at "zero interest", hah!) it would quickly become clear that people are selling their house for cheap tat from Shenzen.

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Re: re: BBC article on New Silk Road

Also here

Pepe Escobar in: "The New Silk Road Will Go Through Syria"

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

"I just want to point out that the U.S. achieved all of that without having all the brutality"

*splutters tea over keyboard*

I'm going to guess here that you're white...

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Re: It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

"I just want to point out that the U.S. achieved all of that without having all the brutality."

In your dreams ducky, in your dreams. And neither did the UK.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

"it's awesome how Chinese citizens can enjoy riding on a smooth new road on their way to an indefinite prison term for unspecified crimes against the state."

Even taking into account the estimates of the political prisoners number by Western NGOs, the Chinese population incarceration rate is still below that of the USA. So it's really complicated to judge.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

If you don't describe a regime that murders and suppresses its own people and minorities in particular disgusting, there are plenty of other adjectives you could use (The same party remember murdered Millions in the cultural revolution (read up on that particular event) and tens of thousands in other areas more recently). Yes they've had impressive development but the sad thing is it could quite easily have been done without the dead corrupt hand of the CCP - a party so beloved and secure that it feels the need for this sort of censorship - I don't believe that nudging them will actually work - it certainly hasn't in the past.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

If you don't describe a regime that murders and suppresses its own people and minorities in particular disgusting, ...

Suppression of some of your own people is a very basic function of any government, regardless of it's political stripes. That's what the police, courts, jails, and various security agencies are for.. Murdering your own people, a.k.a. the capital punishment, is also a thing, or was a thing until very recently, for a number of governments we would consider democratic and acceptable.

By this metric, every government is disgusting, making the label meaningless.

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Re: It's disgusting that regimes like this still exist in this modern world.

"I just want to point out that the U.S. achieved all of that without having all the brutality. "

Just ask Sitting Bull for his opinion about that.

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Surely a citizenry voluntarily, spontaneously and enthusiastically self-neutralized by distracting rubbish content is a safer prospect for totalitarian rule?

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You mean like, "bread and cat videos?" That would explain a lot.

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Anonymous Coward

China, china, china

The one thing that gets lost when one ignores Chinese history is this pearl: China has been a BRUTAL EMPIRE since the times of First Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259-210 a.c.), a guy bent on being the first at everything (had destroyed all records of history and culture before him with few exceptions), owning the whole world and being immortal to lord over it. Yes, dynasties come and go but the Leitmotiv never left the mind and heart of Chinese rulers. The last imperial dynasty was a flop but managed to keep floating on top of the mandarin system (designed by Kongzi and implemented by the king of Lu, looooong before Qin Shi Huang) for 268 years. And how do they do it ? Keeping the proles down with violence, hunger and spiritual serfdom. We in the West are very familiar with that strategy of domination; do I need to mention the incestuous role of Christianity and State during the last two thousand years? Mao Zedong didn't want to "free" the people. He wanted to become emperor and set up a new mandarin class he could control. Thus anti-intellectualism as a pre-requisite to be a good member of the revolution. While Stalin sent anyone he didn't like to die in Siberia's gulags, Mao convinced the peasants dying of hunger (due to his own and his cronies ineptness governing the country) that the fault was of anyone who could read and write and then deported all the educated population to the countryside where they would not find anything but hate; great way to commit genocide.

Now that the country has adopted a capitalist economic model and almost one third of the proles are middle class, there is a renewed intellectual class that needs to be weeded out fast. And the proletariat collective mind needs to be shaped into obedient serfs ready to become world conquering armies. What is different from the present Emperor (sorry, first secretary of the central committee of the communist party) and Qin Shi Huang is that he raises from the masses by merit instead of a hereditary dynasty (or so they want us to believe).

Why should we be shocked by the methods? Rather we should be worried that we are willing to let them force that model onto our civilization, by indirect means as mentioned in other posts.

You Brits, stop deluding yourselves and shake your behinds. If you were able and willing to help Cromwell raise to power, letting him murder a King in the process, and to tolerate his antics long enough to leave a blood trail not dissimilar to that of Marat and Robespierre, Brexit is a trifle. You already know what's coming down the pipe with the people you raised to power as of late. And you USians, stop believing in the theory of exceptionalism that has gotten you into so much trouble and stupid wars. The only harvest you have sowed is the clown on top and that when the day of reckoning comes, all nukes will fly your way and nowhere else.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: China, china, china

"China has been a BRUTAL EMPIRE since the times of.... "

Take out "China" and replace it with the name of nearly any dominant western nation, and you wouldn't be far off the mark historically speaking.

History, as they say, is full of death.

Some enlightened Chinese emperors also sponsored the arts and literature centuries before anyone in Europe got around to it. The history of China, like nearly every major civilization, is a mixed bag.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: China, china, china

Your argument is ignoratio elenchi. We are talking about China and their history. Yes they had some better emperors and dynasties than others, but my point is: How well did the populace fare throughout all of them? Do you honestly believe that the great works of classical Chinese art and literature were created by the children of peasants?

I argue that the Chinese today are insidiously exporting their model to the West by getting control of our means of production; western capitalists can't see beyond their wallets and shouldn't have been allowed to obtain so much influence over our nation states. And the proles in the West, being squished and scared shitless, are giving themselves in on a platter and pulling everyone else down with them. That's marxist/facist conquest 101. Unless Islam gets to establish a caliphate in Europe first.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: China, china, china

"Do you honestly believe that the great works of classical Chinese art and literature were created by the children of peasants?"

Historically speaking, some were. Some Chinese emperors even started out as penniless peasants. Don't talk out your ass. Some of us have studied Chinese history.

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Re: China, china, china

Right on, Andy. some see all the war and blood splashed across the history books and assume that's all there ever was. Can't really blame them tho. It's those damn historians and their fixation on action.

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Re: China, china, china

That is true but I'm not sure if you've ever seen empires that were so openly and flagrantly willing to abuse, torture, imprison, starve, and execute their own people. Virtually every civilized nation either benefited from slavery or military expansions into new territory with heinous outcomes. China and Russia are unique to me because they did it to themselves as well as others.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: China, china, china

Chinese dynasties usually started in small areas of a few banded provinces, and then expanded into surrounding territory. Although we now know the whole map as China, for most of 4,000 years the land was broken up into warring kingdoms and territories that were under the control of kings and warlords and foreign "barbarians" such as the Tibetans, the Mongols, the Manchus, the Jurchen, and various other Turkic and Arabic groups.

The Chinese dynasties were usually a bit rough on "the other people" in the territories they were expanding into. Also, much of what we know about Chinese violence against the native people is because they kept very detailed records for thousands of years - much longer than the records we have out of Europe. And some of that mass killing was probably greatly exaggerated as party of dynastic propaganda. People like the Mongols seemed to delight in claiming they had killed a few million people here and there, but the historical and archeological record is sometimes highly questionable.

Some of the worst of the killing came when a court official would fall out of favor with the emperor and be subject to the worst punishment under Chinese dynastic rule - 5 degrees of execution. That meant that the court official and all his relatives to the fifth degree would be tracked down and killed - sometimes resulting in 10's of thousands of people dying because one court official wrote something mildly insulting to the royal family.

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No soaps

Lucky devils

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No soaps

Presumably they haven't banned the traditional Chinese operas. Showing intrigue, disaster, star-crossed lovers, and social messages - they were the equivalent of soaps in the old days.

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Voting is overrated.

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Anonymous Coward

I certainly think the last few elections and referendums have proven letting the general public vote is a bad idea...

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Japanese animation - not surprising

I am surprised they did not have "Nausicaa", "Princess Mononoke", "Laputa, Castle in the Sky" and especially "Porko Rosso" banned before.

Quoting Marco, sorry Porco: "I'd rather be a pig than a fascist."

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Re: Japanese animation - not surprising

The titles you have listed are amongst the best examples of Japanese anime and would probably be compatible with Chinese party values. Fighting fascism is not a problem, every second Chinese period drama seems to be about fighting fascism as depicted by various Japanese invasions. Modern Japanese anime that are little more than incest and pedophile training videos might be more in the line of what China is trying to ban. Many of the titles would likely not pass Western censors either. China has started its own animation industry and the bans may also represent trade protections.

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Inconvenient if

Presumably there are thousands of other people who are named Liu Xiaobo who are finding this very awkward...

Or maybe there aren't, any more?

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An Alternative Approach...

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWBv522Eevg for how someone else might have dealt with this...

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