Overall Cultural Policy
Over the past 5 years, a number of important documents formulated by the Chinese government have constituted the principal axis of cultural policy at the macro level, including the Outline of Cultural Development Plan During the Period of the Eleventh Five-year Plan issued in the second half of 2006; the Revitalization Program for the Cultural Industry and Several Opinions on Further Invigorating and Developing Cultural Undertakings in Minority Areas released in the second half of 2009; the Decision of the Central Committee of the CPC on Major Issues in Deepening Reform of Cultural Systems and Propelling the Great Development and Prosperity of Socialist Culture (hereinafter referred to as the Decision) and the Outline of Cultural Reform and Development Plan During the Period of the Twelfth Five-year Plan passed in the second half of 2011.
In October 2011, the Sixth Plenary Session of the 17th Central Committee of the CPC convened with the specific theme of the development of Chinese culture. 30 years of continuous economic growth have improved the income levels of the Chinese and greatly boosted China’s international influence. However, China’s development is unbalanced with many structural problems, the income distribution structure is still not rational enough, and cultural development has lagged behind. In response, the Decision proposes to stay on the road of cultural development with Chinese characteristics, strive to develop a future-oriented, national and scientific socialist culture for the masses with modernization and internationalization, and promote national soft power; to steadfastly bring forward cultural restructuring with a view to the overall prosperity of cultural undertakings and sound development of cultural industries; to hold fast to the approach of multi-level，extensive international cultural exchanges and continuously improve the international influence of Chinese culture.
The Outline of Cultural Development Plan during the Period of the Eleventh Five-year Plan sets out relevant policy details. In specific chapters, the Outline describes development objectives for “public cultural service”, “journalism”, “cultural industry”, “protection of national culture” and “international cultural exchanges”. A series of initial objectives specified by the Outline are now close to realization.
The Revitalization Program for the Cultural Industry offers guidance and support to the development of the cultural industry in China in many respects against the backdrop of the international financial crisis. The Program also sets out policy goals to specifically lower access thresholds and move to attract private and foreign capital into cultural industry sectors as permitted by policy, and into the equity shareholding of state-owned cultural enterprises, so as to form a cultural industry landscape with public ownership as the mainstay and multiple forms of ownership co-developing. The Program undertakes strengthened policy support to government investment, taxation and finance, the refinement of legal frameworks and a further standardization of market order. With the implementation of the Program, cultural industry development in the various regions of China has clearly accelerated.
While cultivating the cultural market, the Chinese government also attaches great importance to the construction of a public cultural service system and devotes intense effort to building up the public cultural infrastructure network in rural and urban areas, so as to satisfy people’s needs and guarantee people’s cultural rights and interests. For ethnic minority cultures, Several Opinions on Further Invigorating and Developing Cultural Undertakings in Minority Areas makes clear that cultural development policy in minority areas does not differs greatly from the rest of the mainland. Nevertheless greater importance is to be given to the translation of cultural works between different languages existing within China. The State Council Information Office shows in its white paper Progress in China’s Human Rights in 2009 that the culture of the ethnic minorities in China enjoys protection, prosperity and development in numerous aspects.
The Outline of Cultural Reform and Development Plan during the Period of the Twelfth Five-year Plan has fostered a favorable environment for the thriving and prosperity of culture and made a comprehensive arrangement for the cultural reform and development. Various measures have been adopted to encourage involvement of enterprises in public cultural services, channel investment of social capital in cultural industries in various forms, continuously improve the creation and production system of cultural goods, gradually promote the shaping of cultural industry pattern, fully vitalize the cultural mechanism and effectively push forward the development of culture in a scientific way.