China's Book of Virtues

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BEIJING: As information becomes more easily disseminated, the Chinese government continues its struggle to control what its population sees, hears, and reads. Thursday's example: a pledge by the Communist Party's Central Committee to push for stronger ethics in public and private life, a move which will not coincidentally require stronger control over the country's media and cultural life. The press, already under strict supervision, was exhorted to report in a more positive way, while the Party announced its intention to strengthen its "macro-control of press and publications." "After months of pushing an anti-American campaign," says TIME's Lewis Simons, "the authorities are simply widening their effort. This is the latest attempt to maintain control over the what information the population receives, and what it thinks. As more Chinese travel out of the country, more foreigners visit, and information is easily spread on the internet and by satellite television, the Party is worried that it may lose control." Scot Woods