China’s Porn War – Part 3/3

April 11, 2012

China’s war on pornography was launched in 2004. In this post, I will provide quotes and links from 2004 to 2011 so we may track the progress of China’s porn combat. There was a lot of material for this topic so I restricted it to one pull quote per year.

In July 2004, Danwei reported, “Xinhua quotes an unnamed official who says China is going to wage a ‘people’s war against porn': Pornographic activities have been rampant online in recent years, and have severely damaged social style, polluted the social environment, and harmed the physical and psychological health of the young people, said the official, who is also a state councilor and minister of public security.”

In 2005, Arts Technica.com reported, “The Chinese government regularly censors Internet content in an effort to diminish the distribution of politically subversive material, but now the communist state is expanding its control and targeting Internet pornography web sites as well. According to a Chinese government official, 221 people have been arrested, and almost 600 web sites have been shut down since March in a crackdown on ‘obscene’ Internet content.”

In 2006, Why We Worry.com reported, “Chen Hui was sentenced to a life in jail on Wednesday for having created the largest porn site in China… Xinhua News Agency said judges at the Taiyuan Intermediate People’s Court in Shanxi province gave the life sentence to Chen Hui and handed down terms of 13 months to 10 years to eight others after they were convicted of profiting from pornographic dissemination.

“Chen, 28, and his accomplices started the Qingseliuyuetian (Pornographic Summer) Web site in 2004, and opened a further three porn Web sites, attracting more than 600,000 users.”

In 2007, Spam Fighter.com reported, “Virtually, 5,000 websites were shut down, 270 culprits detained, and more than 160,000 of harmful materials was seized in the one month long assault that China made on online pornography, as reported by state media.

“Despite a drastic drop, cyber porn is still a concern,” Public-Security Vice Minister Zhang Xinfeng said this while calling for extra efforts for bringing the domestic cyber porn under control, and blocking its overseas sources.

In 2008, the Financial Times reported, “China has vowed to drive on with its multi-ministry crackdown on online pornography until after the Beijing Olympics, extending a campaign that last year led to the detention of 868 people and the deletion of 440,000 prurient postings.

“Publicly prudish Communist party leaders bill the action as a vital part of a wider drive to ‘purify’ the internet by eliminating immoral or politically dangerous content.”

In 2009, English People.com reported, “China shut down or blocked more than 140,000 mobile WAP sites offering pornography for mobile phone users in a five-month crackdown, an official said Monday.”

In 2010, Natural Order Guild.com reported, “China’s anti-pornography campaign shut down more than 60,000 pornographic websites this year, with police investigating almost 2,200 criminal cases, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported Thursday. Wang Chen, director of the Information Office of the State Council, said at a news conference that some 350 million pieces of pornographic and indecent internet content were eliminated, according to the Xinhua report.

“Overall, the campaign included 2,197 criminal cases involving 4,965 people who violated Chinese law by disseminating pornography via the internet or mobile phones, the news agency said. Of those, 58 people received prison sentences exceeding five years, the report said.”

Then in August 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported, “Beijing’s war against pornography is infamous for producing an inordinate amount of collateral damage… Despite the sledge-hammer strategy, sex scholar Katrien Jacobs says in an interview published Tuesday by the Web magazine Danwei, China’s guardians of public morality are losing, badly…”

Is anyone surprised?

As a comparison — since 1990 (a period of more than twenty years compared to the eight for China’s war on porn), China arrested 30 high profile democracy advocates with others on watch lists similar to America’s list of state enemies, which has about 21,000 names of known or suspected terrorists on it. “Both U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities and foreign services continue to identify people who want to cause us harm…” Source: CBS News.com

China’s list has nineteen names of people to be arrested on entry to China; fourteen that are to be refused re-entry and nineteen to be dealt with “according to the circumstances of the situation”.

Compare those numbers with the numbers of China’s alleged lost war waged on porn and what does that tell us? From the numbers, it appears that the Chinese people have spoken with their actions that say pornography is desired more than democracy.

And let’s not forget that in 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court added child pornography as another category of speech excluded from First Amendment protection. In addition, the US Congress made this a crime that might lead to a life sentence in jail.

Return to China’s Porn War – Part 2 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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