The Chinese government is stepping up its regulation of local television in a bid to crack down further on political opposition.

Ouyang Changlin, director of state broadcaster Hunan Broadcasting System, told the Financial Times that it was overhauling its programming to comply with new government censorship demands.

“We must raise the quality of our programmes and make them in a way that they’re acceptable to the government, the market and the audience,” he said.

The Chinese broadcasting regulator recently warned TV stations not to focus exclusively on ‘entertainment’ and to make way for ‘Red’ programmes to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party.

Mr Ouyang, who also serves as HBS’s Communist party secretary, denied rumours that the regulator had asked the station to follow Chongqing TV, the broadcaster of a western Chinese municipality which has replaced commercials with ‘Red’ programming.

“The government may like ‘Red’ programmes, but if nobody watches your programme, that’s good for nothing,” he said in defence of his pro-market approach.