With an order given by Li Xiaojie, chief of the publicity department of Gansu Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), workers set fire to 1.06 million pirated audio/video products, alongside other illegal publications in the suburbs of Lanzhou, the provincial capital, on Saturday morning.
The burning of the contraband was part of a nationwide action on Saturday to culminate China's spring campaign designed to clean up pornography and crack down on illegal publications in the country.
Altogether 42 million pieces of audio/video discs, and illegal publications were destroyed in the country's 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities on Saturday morning, according to Long Xinmin, chief of the State Press and Publication Administration.
"Through the act of destruction, we wish to show to the world the firm determination of the Chinese government in protecting intellectual property and its firm stance against any infringement of intellectual property rights and piracy, and to improve the awareness of the general public in fighting against pornography and illegal publications," said Long at a special ceremony organized in Beijing to mark the start of the action.
Long also serves as chief of China National Copyright Administration.
Jiang Zengwei, vice minister of commerce and also head of the state working group for intellectual property protection, said China had been making persistent efforts to protect IPR to meet the needs for its own development rather than from pressure from abroad.
Out of the massive number of illegal publications destroyed on Saturday, smuggled and pirated audio/video, software, electronic publications made up 30 million, and pirated and illegally published books and magazines totaled 11 million.
One quarter of the illegal publications were destroyed in Guangdong Province, one of the country's economic powerhouses.
Law enforcement officers used shredding machines or mullers to destroy 10 million pirated discs and 500,000 copies of illegal publications at a ceremony held at the new gym situated in Baiyuan District of Guangzhou, the provincial capital.
Officials of the leading group for cleaning up pornography and fighting illegal publications of Guangdong Province disclosed that they confiscated 18.76 million pieces of illegal publications and detained 26 people since the last quarter of 2006.
Law enforcement officers also destroyed 1.03 million more items of pirated audio/video discs, and illegal publications in Tianjin, Liaoning and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on the same day.
In the first three months of the year, China seized 36.11 million items of illegal publications, according to information given by the National Office for Cleaning up Pornography and Fighting Illegal Publications.
During the same period, the law enforcement officers shut down 8,385 shops and business outlets, and closed 220 publishing and printing ventures that had violated IPR regulations, and 58 illegal websites.
Altogether 53 criminal cases were investigated during the spring campaign to crack down on IPR piracy or infringement across the country, and 91 people were given criminal punishments accordingly, said the national office.
(Xinhua News Agency April 15, 2007)