Cambridge University Press accused of censoring articles on its Chinese website

Image credit: Sebastian Ballard

Cambridge University Press has been accused of "selling its soul for millions of Chinese dollars" after agreeing to remove around 300 politically sensitive articles from its Chinese website. 

The request to remove the article came from a state press sponsor and said if certain articles were not removed then the entire website could be shut down. 

The removed articles covered topics including the Cultural Revolution, Hong Kong and Tibet and were written by respected China specialists.

The flag was raised by Tim Pringle who is the editor of China Quarterly which is published by CUP. He expressed his deep concern and disappointment over the move by CUP.  

As the outcry grew CUP insisted it was committed to freedom of thought and expression.

In an open letter to Cambridge University Press, James A Millward said the censorship was ‘a craven, shameful and destructive concession’ to the Chinese authorities. He goes on to note the other publications like the New York Times and The Economist do not publish in China rather than let the authorities censor their content.

Greg Distelhorst and Jessica Chen Weiss have said, “the censored history of China will literally bear the seal of Cambridge University.”

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