Another title published by Cambridge University Press – which reversed its decision to remove articles from website – says it also faced Beijing censorship call
Another academic journal published by the Cambridge University Press says the Chinese authorities requested the publisher remove articles deemed sensitive about China from its mainland website.
The statement from the compilers of the Journal of Asian Studies comes after its UK-based publisher announced that it had reversed its decision to block access on the mainland to over 300 articles in another of its titles, The China Quarterly.
The Journal of Asian Studies said the Chinese authorities had requested its publisher remove about 100 articles from its website in mainland China. The request was refused.
The Cambridge University Press publishes the Journal of Asian Studies for the Association for Asian Studies, which is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The British publisher came under criticism from academics for agreeing to censorship on its China journal’s site, but later reversed the decision.
The statement from the Association for Asian Studies said: “The officers of the association are extremely concerned about this violation of academic freedom and the AAS is in ongoing discussions with CUP about how it will respond to the Chinese government.
“We oppose censorship in any form and continue to promote a free exchange of academic research among scholars around the world.”
Cambridge University Press said last week it had complied with Beijing’s demands by taking down 315 articles on its China site, most of which focus on political topics Beijing deems sensitive.
Most of the censored articles touched on the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, the Cultural Revolution, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong or Taiwan.
The publisher restored the articles on the website on Monday.
Cambridge University Press reverses China censorship move
Cambridge University Press, the world’s oldest publishing house, has reversed a decision to censor content in China.
The publisher had agreed to suppress access to hundreds of its own articles that dealt with subjects sensitive to the Chinese authorities, such as those about the Tiananmen Square massacre.
The Chinese had said that if CUP did not censor content, it would not be able to publish other material in China.
It changed its mind after protests.
In a petition published on Monday, academics from around the world spoke out against what they called China’s attempts to “export its censorship on topics that do not fit its preferred narrative”.
Tim Pringle, editor of The China Quarterly, whose articles were blocked, welcomed the reversal.
“Access to published materials of the highest quality is a core component of scholarly research,” he said. “It is not the role of respected global publishing houses such as CUP to hinder such access.”
The Chinese had told the CUP to block access to more than 300 articles from The China Quarterly as a price for being allowed to publish other material.
It said at the time of the initial announcement on Friday: “We can confirm that we received an instruction from a Chinese import agency to block individual articles from The China Quarterly within China.
“We complied with this initial request to remove individual articles, to ensure that other academic and educational materials we publish remain available to researchers and educators in this market.”
Dr Pringle told the BBC that CUP’s initial willingness to take down the articles in question indicated “a deeper underlying issue around the contradiction between academic freedom and the allure of the Chinese market.
“As the editor of the leading China studies journal, we’d obviously put academic freedom above all other considerations which isn’t to underestimate the difficult position CUP found themselves in.”
He said CUP had informed him the articles would be reposted immediately.
Open Letter to Cambridge University Press about its Censorship of the journal China Quarterly
James A. Millward
Professor of History
Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
Cambridge University Press’s decision to censor the journal China Quarterlyas it is viewed online in China is a craven, shameful and destructive concession to the PRC’s growing censorship regime. It is also needless.
Chinese government “spreading communist propaganda” in UK #ConfuciusInstitute in #universities and #schools
Teaching materials show the disputed territories of Tibet and Taiwan as Chinese. Norman Baker, President of Tibet Society, said: ‘The Confucius Institute is a Trojan horse to portray a version of the world favourable to the Communist Party in China. It is very disturbing that the party, through its front organisation, is peddling untrue information.’The Institute also works in UK schools is sponsored by the Beijing government
Chinese government is ‘spreading communist propaganda in Britain’s universities and schools’
The Chinese government has been accused of spreading propaganda in the UK
Confucius Institute, which operates in universities, is said to be a ‘Trojan horse’