William Hetherington / Staff Writer, CNA
The owner of an independent bookstore in Beijing said yesterday that Chinese resellers have tightened import standards for Taiwanese books.
In the past, most books published in Taiwan could be imported into China, except for titles written by exiled Chinese author Gao Xingjian, the owner said anonymously.
However, certain publishers that print works that touch on sensitive subjects in China, such as democracy, protests, and human rights, are now fully blacklisted and have the experience of Gusa Publishing. I quoted and stated.
In other cases, the book is allowed to be imported, but they said the entire section was torn, or the word was replaced or deleted.
In order for a Chinese reseller to import Taiwanese books, they must first submit a list of the titles they want to buy to the state-owned importer. After that, there is a waiting time of 3 months (from the previous 6 weeks) before you receive the book. , They said.
Regarding the increased time it takes to import books, owners said that while the COVID-19 pandemic limit was added to the delay, a significant factor was likely to have been a more stringent censorship process.
“Previously, we gave the importer a list of 100 Taiwanese books and about 50 were approved. Currently, only about 20-30 are approved,” the owner said. He added that the criteria used to approve the book are unclear.
Most books on politics and religion, even history books, cannot touch China or Taiwan and import them into China, he said.
Examples of banned books include the British Museum’s China: History of Objects and excerpts from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The work of Chinese-American writer Eileen Chang, who portrays life in China under communists such as Rice Sprout Song and Naked Earth, has always been banned in China.
But recently, he said, a book by Malaysian-Taiwanese writer Ng Kim Chu, published last year, discussing the Chinese Civil War has been banned.
“Some of the books we imported last year are banned this year. Standards change so often that we just submit a list to see what happens,” the owner said. increase.
The importer may instruct the bookstore owner to review and revise the list before submitting it.
“But I’m trying to avoid self-censorship. Unless it’s clearly clear that the book is critical of the Chinese Communist Party, I’ll just submit the list without deleting things,” the owner said. Said.
Second-hand bookstores are also affected by the rigors of censorship, citing Shanghai-based second-hand book and fashion accessory store Duo Zhua Yu.
It used to be a popular place to buy books printed in Traditional Chinese, but nowadays inventory has dropped significantly.
“Given the current state of cross-strait relationships, many bookstores don’t promote Taiwanese books at all because they are afraid to cause turmoil,” said the store owner.
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https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2022/07/04/2003781105 Blacklist more Taiwanese books Beijing: Source