View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Chinese Censor Hillary

Apparently, the Chinese government seems to think that if you donate enough to someone's political campaign, or to their protege's, that gives you the right to put words in their mouths. Literally. The Washington Post (via the AP), is reporting that the Chinese government publisher took some liberties with the Mandarin edition of Hillary's "memoirs", editing out inconvenient references to Harry Wu and other people who like their books as originally written. Hillary is "amazed and outraged." With great irony, one of the deleted sections refers to the Chinese Government blacking out her Women's Conference speech, without telling her. Which leaves us bemused and surprised at her amazement and outrage.

Other topics the Chinese are a little touchy about include their electronic surveillance of foreign visitors, their manhandling of protestors, Tienanmen Square, forced abortions, micro-loans to women, and the stage-management of entire neighborhoods. Did she or her publisher really expect the Chinese government to allow a public discussion on these topics?

Simon & Schuster has issued a press release calling this a breach of contract, which it probably is, though Mandarins being mandarins they may never be able to get a Chinese court to admit it. More importantly, they've got a page up with the deleted sections in English and Mandarin. This page is primarily of interest for what it tells us about the Chinese. We know pretty much everything we need to about Hillary.

Since some of the passages were edited rather than deleted outright, the page is incomplete without an English translation of the Chinese distortions.

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