China Bans Non-Patriotic TV Shows Ahead of 70th Anniversary

(Bloomberg) -- China ordered television channels to not broadcast shows that are “too entertaining,” -- such as costume dramas -- in the months leading up to the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.

Instead, the country’s TV regulator provided a list of 86 programs that channels can broadcast ahead of the Oct. 1 anniversary date, which marks the founding of the modern Chinese state by the Communist Party.

The recommended shows focus on patriotic themes, such as the rise of the Chinese nation, its growing affluence and power, and the stories of national heroes, the National Radio and Television Administration, or NRTA, said in a statement posted to WeChat Wednesday.

The ban, which extends to modern dramas as well, will run for 100 days.

“During the 100-day period, each channel is required to unify with the ‘Outstanding programs of NRTA to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of China,’” the regulator said.

Beijing is trying to strengthen patriotic sentiment at home amid headwinds that include a trade war with the U.S., protests in Hong Kong and a slowing economy.

The government has taken a tougher censorship stance against movies -- contributing to a decline in box-office totals -- and in May, radio and television stations were ordered to play the national anthem every morning until the end of year.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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