China's Communist Party plans to bring newspapers and other publications under tighter control, Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday, suggesting it will crack down on reports that are not in line with the party's stance.
A reform plan of party and state institutions, announced by China's state-run news agency, said the purpose of media control by the party is to "develop and prosper the socialist publishing industry with Chinese characteristics."
The party's Central Propaganda Department will "implement the party's propaganda work guidelines, formulate policies for the management of the press and publication industry and supervise the implementation," Xinhua quoted the party as saying.
The ruling party, led by President Xi Jinping, also decided to upgrade intraparty groups in charge of diplomatic and economic issues to committees, to enable the party to handle key policies down the road.
Xi, who was re-elected to a second five-year term as China's president by parliament Saturday, has been striving to meld the Communist Party and the government more closely together.
These reforms were announced after the National People's Congress agreed on March 11 to remove from the country's Constitution the two-term limit for the president and vice president, effectively paving the way for Xi to remain in office indefinitely.
Concerns are growing that the first constitutional amendment in a decade may herald a return to authoritarianism in China as the nation's long-established collective leadership system is expected to become a mere formality.