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China To Produce 70,000 Minutes of Animation In 2006

China, which recently banned the telecast of foreign cartoons during primetime viewing, plans to produce 70,000 minutes of animation this year, state media reported. Already the country has produced 50,000 minutes, exceeding last year's total output of 47,200 minutes.

"The rapid development of China's cartoon industry is attracting more and more international attention," an official with the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), Jin Delong said.

Earlier this year, the Sunchime Cartoon Group, a producer based in Changsha, inked a deal with U.K.-based Eaglemoss Publications, selling its publishing copyright on the Blue Cat, a would-be Chinese rival of Mickey Mouse.

A popular syndicated program called LITTLE MAGIC DRAGON CLUB began purchasing domestically-made animations this year after previously offering a diet of purely foreign-made cartoons.

"The fast development of the industry can be attributed to the government's favorable policies," Jin said.

The SARFT has approved three cartoon channels since 2004 and the Guangzhou-based Southern TV Station will launch a new cartoon channel in September.

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