About 20,000 Chinese-language copies of “The Tiananmen Diary of Li Peng” had initially been scheduled to go on sale in Hong Kong on June 22, but Bao Pu, of New Century Press, stopped the presses on Friday because he did not have copyright ownership.
Reuters obtained an advance copy of the memoirs in which Li reveals that China’s revered reformist leader, Deng Xiaoping, said the government had to “spill some blood” to quell the June 4, 1989, protests.
A source with ties to the leadership in Beijing who requested anonymity said Li had never consented to Bao publishing his memoirs, written in 2004 but suppressed by current Chinese leaders who seek to erase from public memory images of troops and tanks crushing the student-led movement.
“Relevant institutions provided information related to copyright (ownership) before publication. According to Hong Kong copyright laws, we have no choice but to scrap our original publication plans,” Bao told Reuters by telephone from the former British colony on Saturday.