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China fearful of net

Can 'unsettle a country's foundations'

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China shows no sign of easing up on its tough stand against the internet after an article in the country's leading Communist Party magazine warned that the net threatened the culture of China.

The piece in Seeking Truth magazine - written by the country's top cultural official and picked up by news agency AFP - claims that the domination of the English language and Western ideas online are a threat to China's cultural identity.

The article further warns that "other political patterns, value concepts and lifestyles opposes and undermines socialist values". It continues: "The use of the internet for cultural aggression is extremely dangerous, threatening to a people's culture, independence and freedom, even going so far to possibly unsettle a people's or a country's foundations."

According to official figures, between March and November last year China shut 1,600 internet cafes and fined operators a total of 100m yuan ($12m) as part of its orchestrated crackdown agains online content such as porn, and and other material it considers harmful to public morality.

China has also begun jailing people for peddling porn as it continues to wage its war against online smut. ®

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