Censored From the Start

 

Censored From the Start

On September 22, 2007, I sent a copy of the first draft of ChinAlive to a good friend in Beijing. Although I left Beijing in 2006 to work at a school in Hong Kong we stayed in touch. She had the kind of credentials to be able offer me great advise on many of the historical, political, and economic issues in the book. She had lived in China most of her life and was at Tienneman Square the night things exploded. She spoke the language fluently, and when she said she would love to give the book a read, I was thrilled.

I never heard from her again.

I hate to rush anyone who is kind enough to offer editing help, but after a month I was curious and somewhat concerned. I did not send a hard copy, thinking the sensitive matters in the book, if opened and read, would keep the book from being delivered. After two months, I became more concerned, now knowing the Chinese Internet censors could read more than what was in the body of an email — it was easy for them to read attachments as well.

From correspondence with friends, and information she has posted on social networking sites, it appears that she is okay. Her last communication said, “I am delighted and honored for your request! No problem at all.”  After many unanswered emails over the past few years, I am certain the book triggered a government response — she was must have been warned.

ChinAlive hit a nerve and will no doubt be banned in China. With so many work arounds in cyberspace, hopefully it will see the light of day by those who wish to read it.

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