March 5 – Premier Wen Jiabao’s (温家宝) government work report to the Eleventh National People’s Congress (NPC) said continuing and deepening reforms of the cultural sector (文化体制) – encompassing media, publishing and the arts – would be one of the country’s priorities in 2008. Interviewed by reporters, General Administration of Press and Publication director Liu Binjie (柳斌杰) said CCP and government support for cultural development was a major reason behind the success of reforms. He said the government was mindful of the cultural rights and interests (文化权益) of the Chinese people. [More from People’s Daily Online here].
March 7 – A discussion forum devoted to China’s recent “South China Tiger Controversy” on the popular portal Huash.com.cn, a site operated by Shaanxi Province’s commercial Huashang Bao (华商报), was shut down by authorities. In a brief notice released on the closure, the website gave no explanation for the action, who made the decision, or why the forum was closed. Online commentators speculated the closure was made ahead of the NPC session in Beijing. [For more on the “South China Tiger Controversy” see ESWN].
March 7 – Tang Wei, the star of Director Ang Lee’s latest blockbuster Lust, Caution, http://movies.go.com/lust-caution/d872926/thriller was banned from making television appearances in any form, including television advertisements. No reason was given for the ban, issued by China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, and Tang now stands as possibly the first Chinese actor to be singled out by SARFT for a ban. [For more on the case, see Danwei.org].
[Edited by Cheng Jinfu]