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Leaders Join Children, Calling for More Care for Minors

Top Chinese leaders showed their concern for the country's millions of minors by greeting and joining them on the International Children's Day.


President Hu Jintao on Monday celebrated the Children's Day together with hundreds of children, chatting and playing table tennis, at the China Science and Technology Museum and Beijing Municipal Children's Palace.


Premier Wen Jiabao joined children to watch an art performance on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the Children's Day and gave festival greetings to Chinese children and their teachers.


On Monday night, Vice-President Zeng Qinghong attended the premiere of a charity show for children and called for more care for the country's minors.


"China is rendering unprecedented care to the healthy growth of the nation's youngsters," said Sun Yunxiao, an expert on children's education.


On March 22 this year, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council issued a package of proposals on improving the ethical, ideological and moral standards of children and young people across the country.


A campaign to purify the environment for youngsters' healthy growth was thus launched in China.


On this Children's Day, all public cultural facilities across China, including museums, memorials, art galleries, opened to youngsters free of charge.


Also on this Children's Day, the Tianjin TV station opened a children's channel, the first of its kind for the country's provincial-level TV stations, after the China Central Television Station (CCTV), the country's largest state broadcaster, launched a special program catering for young people on Dec. 28, 2003.


In fact, China has ordered all its provincial-level TV stations to launch a special channel catering for children by the end of 2006, according to the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).


Meanwhile, the SARFT ordered all TV stations to curtail air time allotted to TV plays, movies and other TV programs that depict bloody, violent, homicidal and horror scenes and content. It also ordered strict control of the production and import of TV plays and movies of such nature, banned airing such programs in prime time, and ordered shifting their airtime to midnight.


The 367 million children and youngsters under the age of 18, accounting for 28 percent of the Chinese population, can play a vital role in building the nation, Sun Yunxiao said. And strengthening and improving the ideological and ethical development of minors is an urgent requirement.


As China has seen some tragic accidents related to youngsters and Internet bars recently, the central government has imposed a rigid watch on Internet bars to keep them 200 meters away from schools and protect minors from profit-seeking Internet bars.


Meanwhile, China has shut down nearly 16,000 unlicensed Internet cafes across the country since March this year.


In addition, China is dedicated to producing more wholesome literary works for youngsters.


The Legend of Nezha, a very popular cartoon book based on an ancient Chinese folktale, has replaced Harry Potter and became the best-selling children's reader in the nation.


"In response to the government's call, all circles of society are participating in the campaign for creating a 'purified' environment for the healthy growth of youngsters," Sun Yunxiao said.


(Xinhua News Agency June 2, 2004)


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