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Cambridge University Press accused of ‘selling its soul’ over Chinese censorship

Sabah Mannan

Cambridge University Press, the world’s oldest publishing house, was accused of being a conspirator to the Communist party’s bid to whitewash the Chinese history after it approved to remove politically-sensitive articles from its Chinese website at the instruction of Beijing’s censors.In order to ensure that other academic and educational materials published remain available to researchers and educators in China, the publisher confirmed  that it had complied with a Chinese request to block more than 300 articles from the China Quarterly, a leading China studies journal.Published by CUP, a list of the blocked articles shows they focus on topics China’s state regards as taboo, including Mao Zedong’s catastrophic Cultural Revolution, the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, Hong Kong’s fight for democracy and ethnic tensions in Xinjiang and Tibet.Some of the world’s top China specialists including Columbia University’s Andrew Nathan, George Washington University’s David Shambaugh, and Harvard University scholars Roderick MacFarquhar and Ezra Vogel’s articles were included.A book review by the Guardian’s former China correspondent, John Gittings and a piece by Dutch historian Frank Dikötter was also censored.CUP; committed to freedom of thought and expression, had been troubled by the recent increase in requests of this nature from China. The publisher promised to raise the issue with the relevant agencies in Beijing at an upcoming book fair. But on Saturday, it faced a growing outcry from academics and activists who called for the decision to be reversed as reports of the publisher’s move spread.

Source: The Guardian, UK

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