Chinese magazine withdraws planned issue on Taiwan

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 - Page 3

A Chinese magazine dedicated to history has been forced to halt the release of an issue that was to chronicle Taiwan’s democratic transformation, a Shanghai-based newspaper reported yesterday.

National History magazine, published by the state-run Chengdu Xianfeng Culture Media in Sichuan Province, had compiled a series of articles authored by Taiwanese writers for a special edition for next month titled “Taiwan’s Foot,” the Oriental Daily News reported.

Citing Chengdu Xianfeng deputy editor-in-chief Da Hai (達海), the newspaper said the magazine, which is circulated around China, stopped the release of next month’s edition “due to an inappropriate selection of topics.”

Da said there would be a combined February-March edition, which “will be delivered to subscribers on time,” the report said.

He added that the combined edition “has been sent to news and publication management authorities to serve as a record based on the relevant regulations.”

The cancelation is the latest in a number of recent attempts at censorship by Chinese authorities eager to maintain tight control over the media.

Journalists at the Southern Weekly went on strike earlier this month after a Chinese Communist Party propaganda chief dramatically altered a front page editorial calling for constitutional rights.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) said at the time that “there’s no so-called press censorship system in China.”

The Oriental Daily quoted Sun Zhan (孫展), National History’s executive editor, as saying that his team had worked on the special edition for six months, inviting 14 Taiwanese writers, including Yang Tu (楊度), Chang Tieh-chih (張鐵志) and Chu Tien-i (朱天衣), to write on Taiwan’s political transformation over the past 100 years.

Some of the writers witnessed the transformation and a lot of the content would have been revealed publicly for the first time, Sun said.

National History magazine, founded in September 2007, is touted as China’s first news journal focusing on historical events. It has a circulation of more than 100,000 copies a month.