Fearing Beijing’s Ire, the Australian Publishing Industry is Censoring Itself

It seems that China has not actually taken any action to influence this decision, but publishers are still playing it safe.

The News Lens
Date: 2017/11/19
By: Merriden Varrall 

The recent decision by Allen & Unwin to drop Clive Hamilton’s book on Chinese influence illustrates that China need not exert much effort in influencing Australia. We’re doing the job ourselves.

Hamilton’s book Silent Invasion: How China is Turning Australia into a Puppet State was pulled, according to an email from the publishers, because of “potential threats to the book and the company from possible action by Beijing.”

That’s a fair few “potentials” and “possibles.” From the information available, it seems that China has not actually taken any action to influence this particular decision at all. With the heated debate in Australia at the moment about Chinese influence, Allen & Unwin have made an enormously controversial decision, especially given recent events with Cambridge University Press and Springer Nature.

This is an important point — no actual pressure has been exerted by China. Rather, the publisher appears to have chosen to self-censor, just in case.    [FULL  STORY]

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