Foreign scholars of China are learning their are limits to their access if their research doesn’t fit the Chinese government agenda. From The National:
Foreign scholars are finding the China field an increasingly dangerous territory to navigate, and some readily admit to avoiding certain topics and to tweaking their research. And the situation is getting worse as China grows more economically and politically powerful.
One of the authors of the banned book – titled Xinjiang: China’s Muslim Borderland – who declined to use his name, said Beijing is stepping up efforts to control how China is perceived internationally. “We’re in a period where China’s influence is expanding and they’re seeking ways to control the message outside of China just as they do inside China.”
…The problem is that it is not always clear where the invisible line is drawn. Scholars say that being purposely vague about what causes the problem subconsciously forces people to be more cautious than they probably need to be, a strategy that has been successful against intellectuals and the media in China.