08/19/2017, 11.57
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Cambridge University Press bows to Beijing and erases over 300 'sensitive' articles

by Paul Wang

Most articles concern Tiananmen, the Cultural Revolution, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and so on. The publisher agreed on the back of threats to take down the entire site. An additional demand for the cancellation of more than 1000 e-books. The Chinese Communist Party also controls international cultural production beyond its geographical boundaries. In 2012 Chinese loan to college, linked to Wen Jiabao.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Cambridge University Press (Cup) has blocked online access to more than 300 articles from its site, obeying Beijing's request. The articles were published on China Quarterly, one of the most prestigious publications on China.

A mail from editor Tim Pringle which was published in recent days declares that the articles have been removed at the request of the Chinese General Administration for Press and Publications, to avoid – as has been the case for other publishers – the site being completely shut down.

Most articles and reviews included in the list are about Tiananmen, the Cultural Revolution, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan etc, and they range from material published in the last months right back to the 1960s,” the email said.

The mail also says that a similar request came to the publisher about more than 1,000 e-books published by the Cup. But it is unclear whether he has obeyed this request as well.

The Cup episode shows the strength of the campaign for the censorship of "sensitive" content critical of the Chinese Communist Party, launched by Xi Jinping, with the demand that universities learn more decision and adhere to Marxist principles and policy of CCP. The case shows, above all, the CPPs ability to control even international cultural production beyond its geographical boundaries.

Yesterday in an official statement, the Cup states that "this restriction of academic freedom is not an isolated move but an extension of policies that have narrowed the space for public engagement and discussion across Chinese society," "We are concerned about the recent growth of such requests and we have planned meetings to discuss our position with major agencies at the Beijing Book Fair next week."

Radio Free Asia is questioning whether this obedience to the Beijing Cup is not to be linked to another episode. In 2012, a Chinese foundation, Chong Hua, donated many millions of dollars to Cambridge University to fund studies on China's development. The foundation was controlled by Wen Ruchun, daughter of then-premier Wen Jiabao. At the time, the Telegraph wrote: "This raises questions if Beijing is not buying influence in one of the most important universities in Great Britain."

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