China Says Human Rights Record Boosted by TV, Movies and Cartoons

In a White Paper issued by the government, protecting the people's cultural rights scores high in the list of priorities.

China's cabinet, the State Council, has issued an upbeat government document on its human rights record, saying that one of the ways it had managed to protect the people's cultural rights was by ratcheting up TV, movie and cartoon production.

While China's human rights record is regularly criticized by Washington and the EU, as well as organizations such as Amnesty International and the Committee to Protect Journalists, the White Paper launched in Beijing said China has made great progress at home as well as internationally in the realm of human rights.

China argues that its focus on human rights is aimed at protecting the greater good, and that introducing greater freedoms for the individual, such as freedom of the press, ending censorship and other areas, are still a work in progress.

"China has speeded up the building of a public cultural services system that covers the entire society, and enhanced the rule of law in the culture market," ran the document, which weighed in at a hefty 21,000 characters this year.

In 2014 China produced 429 TV series totaling 15,983 episodes, TV cartoon programs totaling 138,496 minutes. It produced 618 feature films, and 140 other films, including popular science films, documentaries, animated cartoons and special-purpose films.

Total cinema box-office receipts reached ¥29.6 billion ($4.77 billion), an increase of 36 percent over the previous year. Thirty-six domestic films each surpassed ¥100 million ($16.12 billion) in box-office receipts, the report said.

The purpose of art is to serve socialism and the people, Last year, President Xi Jinping said that movie producers and other cultural workers must not bear "the stench of money" nor be "slaves to the market," but that culture and art were expected to serve the people.

Film directors have to take part in education sessions in the countryside

The document cited data showing that China had 321 million cable TV households and 187 million cable digital TV users last year, and said around 98 percent of China's population had access to radio broadcasts and 98.6 percent had access to television programs.

The project of providing direct broadcasting satellite services to every household has covered more than 16 million households so far.

"The basic rights of the Chinese people became better protected, and China's constitutional principle of "respecting and safeguarding human rights" was implemented in a better way, the White Paper said.