Cambridge University Press backtracks on China censorship

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Cambridge University made the announcement that the publisher would reverse its decision (Source: Getty)

Cambridge University Press made a U-turn today on a decision to prevent Chinese users from viewing some content.

The publisher said it will no longer suppress articles on subjects which the Chinese government objected to, following protests against the move.

Access to articles covering topics such as Tiananmen Square was blocked at the behest of authorities, as were some articles from UK-based journal The China Quarterly.

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The publication’s editor Tim Pringle said: “Access to published materials of the highest quality is a core component of scholarly research.

“It is not the role of respected global publishing houses such as CUP to hinder such access.”

Cambridge University, which owns the publisher, said the academic leadership of the university had agreed to restore blocked content in order to “uphold the principle of academic freedom on which the university’s work is founded”.

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President Xi Jinping’s administration has exerted greater pressure in a crackdown on sources of dissent recently, with CUP just the latest firm to become caught up in political crossfire.

The publisher said earlier this week that it had only taken the decision to block individual articles from view when there was a risk that an entire body of work would be blocked.

"We will not change the nature of our publishing to make content acceptable in China," said CUP in a statement released via Twitter.

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