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China targets Web sites, Internet cafes in crackdown on overly violent online games
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    BEIJING — Seeking to ferret out online games considered overly violent or unhealthy, China has targeted illegal Web sites, computer markets and Internet cafes as part of a campaign to rein in juvenile crime.
    The crackdown, christened ‘‘Operation For Tomorrow,’’ is also aimed at Web sites offering unregistered playing platforms or services for gamers that can be downloaded, the official Xinhua News Agency said Tuesday.
    The plan will ‘‘use the law to attack, investigate and prosecute ... to cleanse the environment in which young people are raised and prevent and reduce juvenile crime and illegal activity,’’ the report said.
    China strictly monitors the Internet for anti-government speech and uncensored news reports, but the report made no mention of such content.
    Xinhua said the plan especially targets school dropouts, runaways, children of inmates, and children left behind by parents who have migrated for work.
    Unlicensed Internet cafes, known as ‘‘black Web bars,’’ will be closed down and supervision will be tightened over legal cafes, the report said.
    Internet cafes have been repeatedly targeted for breeding juvenile crime and promoting truancy, despite widely ignored rules barring anyone under 18 from admission. Located in towns and small cities throughout China, Internet cafes mainly offer online games that are popular among young people. Authorities have blamed the cafes for Internet addiction and for encouraging juvenile crime as a way to earn money to play online games.
    Online pornography will also be attacked under the crackdown, the report said.
    Government offices were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday Tuesday, and spokesmen were unavailable for comment.
    The report carried the authority of an official announcement because it was posted on the Web site of the Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security. Xinhua is state-owned and often serves the function of proclaiming official policies.
    The committee is a high level coordination and advisory body for public security departments under the central cabinet and Communist Party Central Committee.
    Enforcers will act under guidelines adopted last year by 14 government departments, including the Culture Ministry, State Administration for Industry and Commerce, Public Security Ministry, and Information Industry Ministry, the report said.
    Like most such measures, the crackdown seeks to increase government supervision and control over services for vulnerable groups.
    While promoting government shelters and other official services, it will step-up supervision over domestic and foreign charity groups and other non-governmental organizations, the report said.

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