Under an institutional restructuring plan announced today by Xinhua News Agency, called Program for the Deepening Reform of Party and Government Organs (深化党和国家机构改革方案), China has announced a deep restructuring also of the institutions overseeing the media and film industries.

We will have further comments on these changes in due course, but for now we would just like to provide full translation of the portions of the Program dealing with media and public opinion.

Naturally, one of the changes now getting the most attention is the complete razing of three major national media platforms — China Central Television (China Global Television Network), China National Radio and China Radio International — and the formation from their ashes of a new super-network to be called the Central Radio and Television Network (中央广播电视总台). The Program makes clear that the resources of all of three of these networks will be referred to in their external incarnation as “Voice of China” (中国之声).

Just to quickly give readers an indication of what this change means in terms of direct Party control from the center, China Central Television was previously overseen by the General Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television (previously just SARFT), a department under the State Council. The super-network will now be situated as a state-sponsored institution, or shiye danwei (事业单位), directly under the State Council, and directly under the supervision of the Central Propaganda Department.

The bear, in other words, will be hugging its “mouthpiece” media even more closely now. And that is largely the point that comes through here — the tighter, more centralized control of media and ideology.

The opening of the Program emphasizes: “The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is the basic nature and character of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Party, government, army, society and education — east and west, south and north, the Party leads all.”

(Section 11)

The Central Propaganda Department (中央宣传部) has unified supervision over news and publishing work. In order to strengthen the concentrated and unified management of news and public opinion work, strengthen the management of publishing activities, and develop and invigorate the publishing-related undertakings of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the management responsibilities of the General Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television in the areas of news and publishing will be transferred to the Central Propaganda Department. Externally, the Central Propaganda Department will bear the sign ‘National News and Publishing Administration (National Copyright Office’) [‘国家新闻出版署 (国家版权局)].

Following reorganization, the principal responsibilities of the Central Propaganda Department concerning news and publishing management will be to put into practice the Party’s propaganda work policies; draw up management policies for the news and publishing industries and supervising implementation; manage administrative affairs for news and publishing; overall planning, guidance and coordination for news and publishing activities; industry development; supervising and managing the content and quality of published materials; supervising and managing the printing industry; managing copyright issues; managing the import of published materials.

(Section 12)

The Central Propaganda Department has unified supervision over film work. In order to better develop the unique and important role of film in disseminating ideas and in culture and entertainment, and to develop and invigorate the film industry, the management responsibilities of the General Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television in the area of film management will be transferred to the Central Propaganda Department. Externally, the Central Propaganda Department will bear the sign ‘National Film Bureau’ (国家电影局).

Following reorganization, the principal responsibilities of the Central Propaganda Department concerning film management will be to manage administrative affairs for film; guide and monitor film production, distribution and screening work; organize the censorship (审查) of film content; guide and coordinate major film-related events of a national nature; to assume responsibility for overseas co-productions, and cooperation and discussion on film import and export.

(Section 35)

The creation of the National Radio and Television Administration (国家广播电视总局). In order to strengthen the Party’s centralized and unified leadership of news and public opinion work, and strengthen the management of important propaganda positions (宣传阵地), firmly grasping the right of leadership over ideological work, adequately develop the role of radio and television as the mouthpiece of the Party (广播电视媒体作为党的喉舌作用), the National Radio and Television Administration, a department directly under the State Council, will be built on the foundation of the radio and television management responsibilities of the [former] the General Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television.

Its chief responsibilities will be to implement the Party’s propaganda guidelines and policies; to draw up, supervise and implement policies and measures for the management of radio and television; overall guidance and coordination of the radio and television industries, and of industry development; to promote the reform of system and mechanisms in the radio and television sector; to supervise, manage and censor (审查) the content and quality of radio, television and online audiovisual programming; take on responsibility for the import, storage and management of radio and television programming; to coordinate the promotion of the going out [overseas] of the radio and television section.

The General Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television will no longer be retained.

(Section 36)

The creation of the Central Radio and Television Network (中央广播电视总台). Adherence to correct guidance of public opinion (坚持正确舆论导向), placing a high priority on the building and innovation of dissemination methods (传播手段), raising the dissemination force (传播力), guiding force (引导力), influence (影响力) and credibility (公信力) of news and public opinion — these are the key starting points in firmly grasping the right of leadership in ideological work. In order to strengthen the Party’s concentrated development and management of important public opinion positions, in order to enhance overall strengthen in radio and television media, in order to promote the integrated development of radio, television and newly emerging media, accelerating the disseminating capacity of international broadcasting, China Central Television (China Global Television Network), China National Radio and China Radio International will be combined to form the Central Radio and Television Network, which will serve as an institution (事业单位) directly under the State Council, returning to the leadership of the Central Propaganda Department.

Its principal responsibilities will be to propagate the theories, political line and policies of the Party; to plan and manage major propaganda reports; to organize the production of radio and television; to produce and broadcast premium radio and television products; to channel hot social topics; to strengthen and improve supervision by public opinion (舆论监督), to promote the integrated development of multimedia; to strengthen the building of international broadcasting capacity; to tell China’s story well.

The organizational structures of China Central Television (China Global Television Network), China National Radio and China Radio International are now eliminated.

The original names are to be retained domestically, while externally they will now be all known under the name ‘Voice of China’ (中国之声).