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Such claims are misleading. But how should we view the debate sparked by the case? Three experts share their opinions on the issue with China Daily's Liu Jianna. Excerpts follow:. Tian Yi, the author of a dozen or so erotic novels, some with gay sex content, was sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison on Oct 31 on the charge of creating and selling pornography.
The jail term triggered an outcry on social media this week, attracting the attention of netizens at home and abroad. Some activists even claim Tian Yi's sentence shows China's intolerance of homosexuality, which is ridiculous. Tian Yi was sentenced because she created and sold pornography irrespective of whether the characters are homosexual or heterosexual.
But if homosexuality is included as an issue in any discussion or debate, many could get carried away and lose track of the real point of the case. First, the sentencing of Tian Yi is backed by law. Yet some netizens' claim that her jail term is severer than that given to some rapists is understandable.
And Chinese people's opinion about pornography has changed quite a bit in recent years. For instance, a survey conducted by Renmin University of China shows the number of people who have watched pornography videos or pictures has been constantly on the rise since , and about 75 percent of youths between 18 and 25 have viewed pornography at least once. Compared with the past, creating and selling pornography is no longer a seriously harmful offense in some people's eyes, which could have led to the social media outcry over Tian Yi's sentencing.
But the fact that netizens say Tian Yi's sentence is "disproportionately" severe suggests the judicial interpretation and explanation of the laws should be updated in accordance with the changes in society.