China Tries to Stop Publication of Chinese History Revisited in Hong Kong

A book covering thousands of years of Chinese history was censored inside China a couple of years ago but has since been undertaken by a publisher in Hong Kong. With a planned release just before National Day, authorities have pressured the author, Xiao Jiansheng, to cancel publication, the Guardian reports:

Bao Pu, of New Century Press in Hong Kong, said he understood that the ministry of state security learned of the Hong Kong edition and put pressure on Xiao through the editor of his newspaper.

[…] Though the Hunan journalist does not explore life under Communism at length, he explained the events that inspired it in a statement released by his publishers.

In 1958 his grandfather died after his property was seized in the creation of the communes.

“Our land, farming cows, farming tools, and even our pots, bowls and chopsticks were all confiscated,” he wrote. But there was not enough food at the public canteen and the despairing 78-year-old starved himself to death in protest.

“I learned that when a person’s private property is infringed upon, his right to pursue happiness is taken away, there could be dire consequences,” Xiao wrote.

Then, in the late cultural revolution, Xiao began work as a journalist. After learning about the Great Famine, and witnessing the continuing destitution, he wrote an article attacking Maoist political movements which he said had brought nothing but poverty. That spelled an end to his hopes of attending university.

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