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China to merge press, broadcasting regulators

Updated: 2013-03-10 08:59

BEIJING - China plans to merge two press and broadcasting regulators to oversee the press, publication, radio, film and television sectors amid the country's efforts to boost the cultural influence of the world's second-largest economy.

The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) will be integrated into a single regulatory authority, according to a report delivered by State Councilor Ma Kai to the annual session of the national legislature on Sunday.

China to merge press, broadcasting regulators

The move is meant to coordinate the resources of each sector and promote the reform of cultural institutions, Ma said in his report on the plan for the institutional reform and functional transformation of the State Council, China's cabinet.

The new administration will be responsible for promoting the development of these sectors and supervising related agencies and their businesses, said Ma, who is also secretary-general of the State Council.

It will also carry out the functions of the National Copyright Administration, a task that currently goes to the GAPP, Ma said.

The merger will be conducive to establishing a modern communication system, which is rapidly shaped by digital information technology, and boosting the country's cultural influence, said a statement from the State Commission Office for Public Sector Reform, which explains the reason of the institutional reform.

Experts say the move to merge the two agencies is part of the institutional reform drive set forth at the Communist Party of China's 18th National Congress in November.

"There used to be many rumors surrounding cultural sector reform," said Meng Jian, deputy dean of the School of Journalism, Fudan University.

"The solution announced this time shows that the reform will be advanced in an orderly and gradual way, and the government is prudent about reform in the fields of culture and ideology," Meng said.