Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series
Edited by Michael Keane
Chapter 10: Chinese culture ‘going out’: an overview of government policies and an analysis of challenges and opportunities for international collaboration
Following China’s formal entry into the WTO on December 24, 2001, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Publishing (hereafter SARFT or SAPPRFT) announced the first explicit articulation of the ‘going out’ (zou chuqu) strategy as it related to cultural industries. Further policies followed. These policies were meant to assist China’s voice to spread globally, to ensure that China’s radio, film and television programs would have a global presence, significantly changing the status quo, in which ‘Western’ film, radio and TV were strong while China’s were weak. The period from 2001 to 2012 saw the beginning and the evolution of China’s cultural industry policy: in these ten years of rapid development and transformation the reform of the cultural system provided a powerful impetus. According to China’s WTO commitments, China needed to increase the pace of opening its cultural markets. At the same time cultural enterprises were active in implementing the strategy of ‘going out’, enhancing China’s capacity to participate in international cooperation and competition. This chapter addresses the key policies and characteristics of China’s cultural ‘going out’ program. It shows how the program has evolved and discusses the challenges and weakness of Chinese cultural products in the international market.
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