Website sponsored by the carter centre reined in

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 March, 2006, 12:00am


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A website sponsored by the American-based Carter Centre to promote village elections on the mainland has been asked to revamp its content in the latest move by authorities to tighten their grip on the internet.

China Elections and Governance, a group funded by the Carter Centre as part of its co-operation with the mainland government to promote rural elections, posted a statement on March 7 saying it would remove political news and commentaries, following 'reminders' from authorities.

'We are grateful to the authorities for pointing out the recent deviations from our editorial principles,' the statement said.

The group said the website would remove columns and content which carried political and current news reports as well as related commentaries because these were illegal under internet news information service management rules released in September. The website would provide training for its editorial staff and its editor was ordered to carry out a self-criticism.

China Elections and Governance, or, was launched in 2002 and is available in Chinese and English. According to information posted on the website, 'the site provides Chinese officials at all levels with a resource centre for governance and election affairs and gives scholars worldwide the opportunity to study Chinese politics and offer reform measures'.

A media source said instructions from the propaganda department under the Beijing municipal government were the latest in a series of crackdowns on internet content.