A one-liner from Xinhua news agency is quoted by Huanqiu Shibao:
The Party’s 17th Central Committee’s sixth plenary session has passed the CCP’s Resolution Concerning the Deepening of Cultural Reform and the Promotion of the Development of Socialist Culture and several other Issues.
To go somewhat more into detail, Huanqiu, in another report, quotes a Japanese online article, published by Sankei Shimbun:
Huanqiu Web’s Zhao Wenjie. According to a report by Japan’s “Sankei Shimbun” on October 18, the Chinese Communist Party’s 17th Central Committee’s sixth plenary session with cultural reform as its main topic ended on October 18. According to the communique, China will, by cartoon movies, films, and other methods, invigorate China’s soft power, and thus strengthen expectations for its international competitiveness and influence.
“Sankei Shimbun” comments that measured by GDP, China as an economic entity is second only to America, and that China’s “hard power” had increased rapidly in recent years. But within the international community, speculation about a “China threat” had continued. Therefore, China had understood that it was necessary to strengthen the country’s culture and propagation capabilities, to enhance its international image.
The report also notes that the session also decided to open the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party will be held during the second half of 2012.
In its first paragraph, Sankei Shimbun also seems to refer to domestic ideological tightening, and the internet – maybe a Japanese-speaking reader can help to translate this paragraph:
Update, October 26, 2011: Changmi has provided an English translation:
The 6th Plenary Session of the 17th CC, which emphasized “reform of cultural systems,” concluded on the 18th, according to an official communique. The policy is to boost China’s “soft power” through promotion of cultural elements like animation and movies and thus raise China’s global competitiveness and influence, while tightening ideological discipline domestically as the internet-using population continues to increase. [end of update]
The Chinese government’s (i. e. the CCP’s) official website (in English), on Tuesday, quoted the central committee’s decision or statement as follows:
The country will work to improve Chinese citizens’ sense of identity and confidence in Chinese culture, according to a statement issued after the session.
Culture is emerging as an important part of the country’s comprehensive competitiveness in today’s world, the statement said.
China is facing a difficult task in protecting “cultural security” and feeling the urgency of enhancing its soft power and the international influence of its own culture, the statement said.
The statement noted that, as a major form of support for national unity and a source of creativity, China’s cultural industry will play a more critical part in the country’s economic and social development.
The country should not only provide its people with an ample material life, but also a healthy and rich cultural life, the statement said.
The statement said the government will devote more resources to boosting public cultural services and speed up the reform of the cultural industry.
According to Asahi Shimbun (not to be confused with Sankei Shimbun, see above),
The statement also called for tighter control of information. It called for the need to “step up and improve actions toward the media and public opinions” and to “develop a more healthy Internet culture.” To do so, “the party’s guidance on cultural activities should be reinforced and updated,” the statement said.
Zambia’s The Citizen is full of quotation marks and quotes former SCMP China editor Willy Wo-Lap Lam as saying that
The reform of the cultural system has to do with ensuring that the media, publications, movies, Internet, et cetera serve the party’s goal of galvanising patriotic and nationalistic sentiments. [...] This will mean even tighter control over people’s freedom of expression, especially on the Internet.
The author is Goh Chai Hin, a China correspondent who apparently works for several different news agencies. Zambia itself is an example of lacking Chinese influence. In September,
Michael Sata, a 74-year-old veteran politician who had whipped up not-so-subtle anti-Chinese sentiment (China runs several big mines in Zambia), handily won the presidency [...],
the New York Times reported last month.
Last year, Chinese managers opened fire on protesters at a huge coal mine in southern Zambia, and though the Zambian government initially indicated that the Chinese managers would be punished, the charges were quietly dropped. The shootings outraged many Zambians who resent China’s enormous economic influence over their country, where most people live on less than $5 a day, and the episode seemed to feed straight into Mr. Sata’s political campaign.
No doubt: China will expand its propagation capabilities (see Huanqiu Shibao’s quotes from Sankei Shimbun above) in Africa, too.
If China Radio International‘s (CRI) existing service for Western countries is anything to go by, broadcasts for Zambia will discuss matters like these:
Using an icebreaker should be the best way to make stubborn miners talk. Ask questions first, shoot later.
» 17th CC 6th Plenary Session, October 15, 2011
» More Budget Cuts for BBC Foreign Coverage, Shortwave Central, Oct 10, 2011
» Quote: Makuwerere Bwititi, January 15, 2010
» Go, tell it from Global Local Sticks TV, Oct 22, 2009
» Three Eight Hundreds, April 19, 2009