How can scholars tackle the rise of Chinese censorship in the West? | THE Features

“In August, however, the issue of academic freedom was brought inescapably back to home ground when it emerged that Cambridge University Press (CUP) had bowed to Chinese pressure and censored more than 300 online-access articles in its prestigious journal The China Quarterly (see Pringle, page 38).

Although the publisher reversed the move within days, after widespread criticism and threats of boycott, the story has not ended there. In November, the Financial Times revealed that Springer Nature, one of the world’s largest academic publishers, had, at the behest of Beijing, blocked access on its Chinese website to more than 1,000 academic articles containing key terms such as “Tibet”, “Taiwan” or “Hong Kong”, which China deems politically sensitive. The publishing giant defended its action, denying charges of censorship and claiming that it was merely complying with China’s “regulatory requirements” (see box, below left).

Other signs of publishers bowing to pressure from Beijing that have since emerged bring the issue of censorship even more firmly into the Western academic sphere. Allen & Unwin, it emerged in mid-November, has suspended publication of a book intended for the Western market, Silent invasion: How China is turning Australia into a puppet state, by Clive Hamilton….”

 

Beijing Hinders Free Speech in America – The New York Times

“Springer Nature, which publishes prestigious science magazines like Nature, recently blocked access to some articles from China to avoid being banned in the country….

Recently, Clive Hamilton, a professor of public ethics in Australia, said that his publisher [Allen & Unwin] delayed the release of a book of his that investigates the rising influence of the Chinese Communist Party in Australia for fear that the Chinese government may sue for defamation. ….”

These threats to free speech should prompt Western politicians to stand up to China. I’m disappointed that President Trump chose to focus mainly on trade, rather than human rights, during his recent trip to China. There appear to have been no attempts to push back against Beijing’s increasing proclivity to commit rights abuses beyond its borders. Such appeasement will only embolden Mr. Xi, further threatening Western democratic institutions. 

In recent months, the Trump administration has restarted talks with its allies in Asia about how to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the region. It is equally important for the United States to shore up its policies at home to stop China from undermining core democratic values — both on campus and beyond….”

Beijing Hinders Free Speech in America – The New York Times

“Springer Nature, which publishes prestigious science magazines like Nature, recently blocked access to some articles from China to avoid being banned in the country….

Recently, Clive Hamilton, a professor of public ethics in Australia, said that his publisher [Allen & Unwin] delayed the release of a book of his that investigates the rising influence of the Chinese Communist Party in Australia for fear that the Chinese government may sue for defamation. ….”

These threats to free speech should prompt Western politicians to stand up to China. I’m disappointed that President Trump chose to focus mainly on trade, rather than human rights, during his recent trip to China. There appear to have been no attempts to push back against Beijing’s increasing proclivity to commit rights abuses beyond its borders. Such appeasement will only embolden Mr. Xi, further threatening Western democratic institutions. 

In recent months, the Trump administration has restarted talks with its allies in Asia about how to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the region. It is equally important for the United States to shore up its policies at home to stop China from undermining core democratic values — both on campus and beyond….”

Sage is latest publisher to warn of China censorship pressures

“Another leading academic publisher has been warned that it may have to censor in China or be forced out of the market, as Beijing intensifies its control over foreign education and publishing.

Sage Publishing, a US-based company that produces more than 1,000 academic journals, said it had not yet received a formal request to “remove or block access to certain documents or content within China”….

China has extended its censorship campaign to foreign publishers this year, as part of President Xi Jinping’s wider crackdown on dissent and criticism. Before Sage, only three other global academic publishers have admitted to facing pressure from Beijing’s censors.

The International Publishers’ Association, a global trade body, said that China was putting the industry in an “impossible situation” where publishers must compromise their commitment to free speech or risk losing access to one of the world’s biggest markets.
 
The climate of fear is spreading beyond China, with Allen & Unwin, a prominent Australian publisher, recently dropping a book about rising Chinese influence in Australia because of concerns about possible reprisals from Beijing….”
 

Sage is latest publisher to warn of China censorship pressures

“Another leading academic publisher has been warned that it may have to censor in China or be forced out of the market, as Beijing intensifies its control over foreign education and publishing.

Sage Publishing, a US-based company that produces more than 1,000 academic journals, said it had not yet received a formal request to “remove or block access to certain documents or content within China”….

China has extended its censorship campaign to foreign publishers this year, as part of President Xi Jinping’s wider crackdown on dissent and criticism. Before Sage, only three other global academic publishers have admitted to facing pressure from Beijing’s censors.

The International Publishers’ Association, a global trade body, said that China was putting the industry in an “impossible situation” where publishers must compromise their commitment to free speech or risk losing access to one of the world’s biggest markets.
 
The climate of fear is spreading beyond China, with Allen & Unwin, a prominent Australian publisher, recently dropping a book about rising Chinese influence in Australia because of concerns about possible reprisals from Beijing….”