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The World

China moved to restrict distribution of a popular but controversial TV documentary series after a senior official denounced the program. Communist Party Vice President Wang Zhen delivered a stinging attack against the six-part series “He Shang,” or “River Elegy,” at a recent party Central Committee meeting. The series, which blames China’s failure to open to the West for the decline of Chinese civilization, was broadcast last summer by state-run television, sparking both nationwide praise and fierce debate. Officials began implementing a ban on the distribution of videotapes of the series to foreign countries or between Chinese provinces, and they ordered a halt to all sales of the videotape inside China.


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