Cambridge University reinstates blocked China articles after protest

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, August 22: Cambridge University Press (CUP) has reverted its decision and will now reinstate the articles and book reviews it has earlier censored from its China Quarterly publication on Beijing’s behest.

CUP, the world’s oldest publishing house infamously conceded to Chinese censorship and took off 315 articles and book reviews from its China Quarterly publication which are deemed politically sensitive subjects in China.

The publishing house reverted its decision after protests across the world, including a petition signed by hundreds of academics, urged CUP to revert its decision or face its publications being boycotted.

20987748_1632078360169901_1430388209_nThe Cambridge University which owns the CUP and China Quarterly announced that it will revert the publisher’s decision to ‘uphold the principle of academic freedom’.

“The academic leadership of the university had reviewed the publisher’s decision and agreed to reinstate the blocked content with immediate effect to uphold the principle of academic freedom on which the university’s work is founded,” The Guardian quoted Cambridge University as saying in its report.

The Editor of China Quarterly, Tim Pringle welcomed the CUP’s decision to revert the censorship. “As editor, I would like to express my support for CUP’s decision, Access to published materials of the highest quality is a core component of scholarly research. It is not the role of respected global publishing houses such as CUP to hinder such access,” Pringle said in a statement on Twitter.

Academics from around the world launched an online petition on Monday and made a case of free and open exchange of ideas and information on all topics. And called it, exporting censorship as China demanded the publishing house to take off articles which doesn’t fit their narrative.

The articles which will now be reinstated in China Quarterly include topics on the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, the 1960’s Cultural Revolution and Tibet which are politically sensitive subjects in China.

CUP said late last week it had removed the articles and book reviews published in China Quarterly journal from its website in China following a request from the Chinese government.

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