A publishing-house employee stands at a booth selling discount foreign novels at a book festival in Hanoi on Sept. 30, 2014
Hoang Dinh Nam—AFP/Getty Images
May 22, 2015 4:30 AM EDT

Vietnam has temporarily banned romantic novels, particularly those originating from China, as the “clichéd, useless, obscene and offensive” works are “poisoning” the youth of the country, reports local media.

The majority of unsuitable titles are foreign romantic novels, says the Vietnamese Publishing and Printing Department, which announced that all novels must be “suitable with Vietnamese habits and customs,” according to Thanh Nien News.

“We do not shut down any genre of books, but the government needs to regulate an activity related to culture and people’s way of thinking so that it can benefit people,” said department director Chu Van Hoa.

Most of the proscribed books are Chinese titles, including genres like danmei (Chinese-language gay-romance novels) that have been deemed salacious and morally objectionable, fueling erroneous notions of love or even promoting rape, according to Chu.

Vietnam will eventually remove the ban, he explained, but will only selectively permit some publishers to release books with romantic content.

[Thanh Nien News]

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