Sat, May 12, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Minister rebuts report on reviewing books from China

Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) yesterday said there are no plans to substantively review the content of books from China in the wake of accusations that the ministry is carrying out a “Cultural Revolution.”

A report in the Chinese-

language United Daily News (UDN) yesterday said that the ministry on Friday last week sent an official notice to the Publishers Association of the Republic of China and multiple book associations to remind them to submit a special application when publishing books from China.

After an application is submitted, approval must be granted before publication, else the publisher would be penalized, it said.

Cheng said that a law requiring publishers to receive approval to publish books from China in Taiwan has long existed and the ministry is simply enforcing it.

“The regulations were set up in 1993 and have been in use from that time until now,” she said, referring to regulations first approved by the now defunct Government Information Office.

The regulations allow authorities to withhold approval if the content of the published materials “propagate communism or engage in united front tactics” or harm public order.

According to the UDN, the ministry sent the notice after finding that 43 books from China targeted at elementary and junior-high school students were published in Taiwan without being submitted for review and approval.

However, after the notice was sent out, some publishers reacted angrily, with a number accusing Cheng of carrying out a Cultural Revolution, a movement in China in the 1960s and 1970s that purged capitalist and traditional elements from society, the paper said.

Cheng reiterated that she had not given instructions to strengthen the review of Chinese works and that the ministry has never had such a plan or carried out substantive reviews.

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