British publisher hit by Chinese crackdown on academic freedom

Taipei--The Cambridge University Press (CUP), one of the world's oldest publishing houses, has pulled over 300 articles and book reviews on its China Quarterly site in China at Beijing's request, according to the journal's editor.

In an e-mail to China Quarterly's editorial board, editor Tim Pringle said CUP had informed the journal that the content had been removed at the request of China's General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP).

According to Pringle, CUP said "they have blocked this in China to avoid having their entire site shut down," something that CUP said "has already happened to several other publishers regarding their journals."

Most of the removed articles and reviews are about Tiananmen, the Cultural Revolution, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Pringle wrote.

He also said that CUP had received a similar request to take down more than 1,000 of its e-books a few months earlier, but that the publisher's journals had not been targeted until Beijing demanded the removal of the China Quarterly content.

CNA contacted CUP's representative office in Beijing, but a representative there declined to comment though the office did say it would answer questions via e-mail. No answers had been given, however, as of Saturday night.

China Digital Times, a California-based bilingual news website covering China, reported that there were already reports on the Internet in July that China would censor English-language articles in social science journals.

The censorship is to prevent Chinese scholars from publishing statements that "are not in favor of the nation," the website said, consistent with Chinese leader Xi Jinping's crackdown on dissent.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel