Beijing, Sept. 25 (Reuters): The publisher of the Chinese version of Senator Hillary Clinton’s memoirs — minus passages criticising Beijing’s human rights record — said today it did not plan to bow to her US publisher’s demand for a recall.
American publisher Simon & Schuster said today the Chinese edition of Living History included unauthorised changes and demanded government-owned publisher Yilin Press remedy the issue by publishing an unaltered version.
At issue are 10 pages in the book where the Chinese publisher deleted passages detailing Clinton’s views on China and her travels there. Simon & Schuster called the omissions a breach of contract and made the offending passages available on its website in both English and Chinese.
But Liu Feng, vice editor-in-chief of Nanjing-based Yilin publishers, said the changes were “technical”, did not break any contract and were needed to ensure the book’s success in China, where censorship and piracy are everyday obstacles.
“The changes were conducive to all three sides, the US publishing house, Hillary herself and the Yilin publishing house,” Liu said by telephone.
“We made the technical changes in accordance with our own judgment in order to have more people buy the book,” he said.
“Our fault was not contacting and consulting with them immediately. We did so because we wanted the book to be published soon in order to avoid the loss caused by pirated copies.”
Yilin had written a letter to Simon & Schuster to explain the “misunderstanding”, Liu added.
Several deleted passages concern dissident Harry Wu, who spent 19 years as a political prisoner in Chinese labour camps before being arrested in 1995 entering China from Kazakhstan.