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Chinese News Agency Tells Readers to Ignore April Fools' Day

A boy looks at fish-shaped balloons installed in a water fountain to mark April Fools' Day, called "Poisson d'Avril" in France, in the centre of Nice, April 1, 2015.

China's Communist Party has a new target in its campaign against pernicious Western cultural influences: April Fools' Day.

Leading party propaganda organ Xinhua News Agency says in a brief message on its official microblog Friday that the "so called'' Western April Fools' Day does not conform to Chinese cultural traditions or "socialist core values.''

It adds that people should not believe in, start or spread rumors.

Along with official newspapers including the flagship People's Daily and state broadcaster CCTV, Xinhua has been a key tool in the party's campaign to rid China of Western cultural influences seen as challenging its political orthodoxy. Those include basic human rights and political concepts such as freedom of speech and separation of powers.