Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) yesterday said she would not comment on China’s reported ban on the work of Taiwanese novelist and film director Giddens Ko (柯景騰) and Chinese American historian Yu Ying-shih (余英時) unless the reports are confirmed.
Chinese Web sites reported on Saturday that several publishers received a notice from the Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television asking them to remove books by Ko and Yu from sale and not to publish further work by Yu, Hong Kong writer and critic Leung Man-tao (梁文道) and others.
Lung said her understanding is that Beijing has a standard operating procedure it follows on censorship, and she had not seen evidence of that in the past two days.
She said she would make a public comment if the alleged ban is clarified and confirmed.
The writers were allegedly banned because of their support for Hong Kong’s Occupy Central movement, and for being outspoken supporters of democracy and human rights.
Ko, also known as Jiu Ba-dao (九把刀), openly supported the Sunflower movement, which occupied the main chamber of the legislature in March and April to protest the government’s handling of the cross-strait service trade agreement.
Late last month, he posted photos of his shaved head on Facebook, apparently in support of the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong. Three organizers of the movement and dozens of others shaved their heads earlier in the month to show their determination to fight for free elections of Hong Kong’s chief executive.
Ko on Sunday on Facebook urged fans not to worry about him.
Ko, one of Taiwan’s best-selling authors, said he did not know what was going on and was not interested in responding to rumors on the Internet.
Ko’s manager said she has been unable to verify the reports as they have yet to hear from Modern Press Co, the Chinese publisher of Ko’s books.
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