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China to Introduce Movie Rating System

China is to adopt a movie rating system so as to create a friendly environment for children movie-goers, a film and TV regulator said on Wednesday.

Tong Gang, director general of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said the system will be introduced according to China's conditions and legal framework, and will not be a copycat of foreign countries' rating system.

The rating system will be based on Chinese adolescents' physiological age, and will rate and classify both Chinese and foreign movies according to their contents like murder, violence, terror and sex.

Tong said his administration is investigating the practicality on film rating and classification, aiming at altering the original criterion of movies being made "suitable for all."

China will consider the current situation of China instead of copying foreign countries' rating system directly, based on our constitution, laws on juvenile protection and prevention of juvenile delinquency, Tong said.

The current film reviewing system is strict with violent or sexual plots, but some plots are still reserved with a view to maintain stories' completeness and artistic quality.

China's film-rating system will not substitute the current film-reviewing system like the United States, and the two systems are closed related to each other.

With a new film rating system, Tong said, tt should be noted that no "x-rated films" in its general sense would be allowed in the future market since violence, terror and eroticism will always be prohibited in China.

The famous film "2046," directed by Wong Kar-Wai, has made people sense a film rating flavor: it was not appropriate for minors under 17.

The United States applies the MPAA film rating system based on movie contents -- G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17. It is used to help parents decide which movies may be appropriate for children. And films that have not yet received MPAA classification are often advertised under the banner "This film is not yet rated."

(China Daily December 17, 2004)

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