lundi 21 août 2017

China’s bid to block my journal’s articles is a new attack on academic freedom

Cambridge University Press was asked to suppress articles in China Quarterly. It has now resisted, but it is a worrying development
By Tim Pringle

The furore that followed CUP’s compliance with ‘an instruction from a Chinese import agency made one thing very clear. Academic freedom remains the absolute core concern.’

The international furore that followed Cambridge University Press’s compliance with “an instruction from a Chinese import agency to block individual articles from China Quarterly” made one thing very clear. 
Academic freedom remains the absolute core concern of scholars all over the world.
This morning I met CUP officials and conveyed the message in forthright terms: the 315 articles that the academic publisher had removed from its internet portals in China should be re-posted as soon as possible and made available free of charge. 
At no point did China Quarterly, which I edit, consent to removal of the articles and we are delighted at CUP’s reversal of the decision.
As a researcher of labour relations in China for 20 years, I have grown accustomed to the shifting boundaries of what is and is not possible. 
The first decade of China’s “going out” this century was marked by an increase in public engagement and an expansion of research. 
Partnerships between Chinese and international universities were forged. 
The opportunities for creating new knowledge, a lofty-sounding but nevertheless key goal of academic research, blossomed.
For sure, Chinese partners still faced constraints. 
And non-Chinese academics researching sensitive areas such as Xinjiang and Tibet, human rights, or the tragic end to the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 had visas denied and fieldwork hampered or blocked.
But these were nevertheless exciting times to be an academic working on China. 
They were accompanied by an equally important expansion in environmental movements, labour campaigns and gender equality, and the appearance of a courageous cohort of lawyers prepared to work on human rights cases.
An important outcome of the increased opportunities for academic exchanges was access to information. 
The numbers of non-Chinese able to access and read Chinese-language materials increased. 
The numbers of Chinese able to access non-Chinese materials – inevitably, and unfortunately, it is mainly in English – has exploded. 
This has had a positive impact on Chinese scholarship published in both languages.
China Quarterly has been run from Soas, University of London, for more than 50 years, and I have been fortunate to come into contact with some of the world’s leading academics working on China. 
In the first years of the new millennium the internet emerged as a powerful research tool, and authoritarian government in China was reconfiguring itself as pragmatic, innovative and open to non-Communist party voices. 
But this scholarship is now under threat.
The previous era of relative openness was qualified by targeted repression of those who crossed party-defined boundaries, such as Liu Xiaobo, who died in prison earlier this year. 
He was sentenced for his part in the pro-democracy manifesto Charter 08.
The now re-posted articles had gone through a rigorous “double-blind” peer-review process and represent some of the best contributions to “new knowledge” on China. 
Some of the authors are globally renowned scholars, others are early-career academics. 
Access to such research has hugely enriched Chinese scholarship, just as scholarship outside China has been hugely enriched by the response of China’s academic community to this work.
This attempt to deny access might be the result of over-reach by Chinese censorship bodies such as the recently created General Administration of Press and Publication. 
But I fear it is the outcome of a much stronger shade of authoritarian government that excludes voices from outside the party-led system. 
The evidence of new regulatory, and apparently ideological, constraints on academic freedom and public engagement in China that have emerged since 2012 – under the leadership of Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang – suggest that the parlous state of affairs with regard to academic freedom is policy-driven. 
What is unprecedented is that its reach has now stretched to international institutions such as Cambridge University Press.
The key criteria for publication in our journal will not change – academic rigour and contribution to new knowledge. 
The topics we publish will not take into account the political sensitivities of any government. 
And as editor, I will work harder than ever to disseminate our articles as widely as possible.

Tim Pringle is a senior lecturer in development studies at Soas, University of London, and editor of China Quarterly

After Criticism, Publisher Reverses Decision to Bow to China’s Censors

BEIJING — One of the world’s leading academic publishers, Cambridge University Press, on Monday abruptly reversed its decision to bow to censorship of a leading journal on contemporary China, after its’ agreement to remove offending papers from its website in China ignited condemnation from academics.
The Cambridge University Press said last week that it had gone along with demands from a Chinese publishing import agency and cut 315 papers from the online version of the journal, China Quarterly, that can be read in China.
Academics criticized the decision as a worrisome intrusion of censorship into international academic research where the Chinese government has become increasingly energetic in pushing its views, and in discouraging work that offends it.
The pressure from academics worked.
Tim Pringle, the editor of China Quarterly, said on Twitter that the press “intends to repost immediately the articles removed from its website in China.”
Professor Pringle, said the decision had come “after a justifiably intense reaction from the global academic community and beyond.”
Dr. Pringle said in a telephone interview from London that Cambridge University Press would also make the reposted papers available for free, doing away with the hefty charge that one-time readers of the site must usually pay.
“It puts academic freedom where it needs to be, which is ahead of economic concerns,” Professor Pringle said.
Cambridge University Press said in an online statement that its decision to cut the papers had been temporary, ahead of planned talks with the publishing agent that have not been held yet.
“The university’s academic leadership and the press have agreed to reinstate the blocked content, with immediate effect, so as to uphold the principle of academic freedom on which the university’s work is founded,” it said.
Now, though, the press may have to prepare itself for potential repercussions from the Chinese censors, who are unlikely to be happy with the public rebuke and reversal.
It was unclear how the 315 academic articles that they said offended official sensibilities would now be censored, if at all.
“If China perceives the reversal as a matter of face or a challenge or whatever, I imagine it will escalate upward and Cambridge University Press will face further issues with China,” said Jonathan Sullivan, a China studies scholar at the University of Nottingham who is on China Quarterly’s executive committee.
“It is very gratifying for the China studies community, and the integrity of our field, but the scope of the ‘victory’ is narrow.”
China Quarterly has long been one of the world’s most prestigious venues for research on modern China.
Increasingly it has published work by scholars in or originally from China.
The latest issue of the journal includes papers on ideological currents in journalism education and on political tension in Hong Kong.
But a Chinese agency that manages imported publications told the press to cut papers and book reviews on subjects including Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang, the Cultural Revolution and the 1989 crackdown on student-led protests based in Tiananmen Square.
At first, Cambridge University Press went along.
“We complied with this initial request to remove individual articles, to ensure that other academic and educational materials we publish remain available to researchers and educators in this market,” the press said last week in a statement online.
Several academics issued letters and statements denouncing the decision, and one started a petition that called for a boycott of the press if it did not reverse its decision.
“As academics, we believe in the free and open exchange of ideas and information on all topics not just those we agree with,” said the petition started by Christopher Balding, an associate professor at the Peking University HSBC Business School in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.
“It is disturbing to academics and universities worldwide that China is attempting to export its censorship on topics that do not fit its preferred narrative.”
Professor Balding said in an interview on Monday that he welcomed the latest decision by Cambridge University Press, but that research and publishing still risked buckling to political or economic pressure from China.
“What I hope is that this doesn’t end the discussion among universities, academics, and publishing houses outside of China,” Professor Balding said.
“Hopefully, this will prompt greater thinking about how to effectively engage with China. Continued acquiescence is not the answer.”

Bannon exit a reminder of China’s success in ‘containing Trump’

By Tom Mitchell in Beijing

Steve Bannon, who has been fired as White House chief strategist

Shortly after Donald Trump met Xi Jinping for the first time at his Florida resort, a senior Chinese government official wondered aloud if the US president’s most important domestic political adviser really saw Beijing as an enemy, let alone the enemy. 
“But Steve Bannon spent years [working] at Goldman Sachs,” the official protested in a conversation with the Financial Times.
“He also reads widely and understands history. I don’t think he will be that radical.” 
Last week the ruling Chinese Communist party had its answer.
In what turned out to be his swansong interview just before he was fired, Mr Bannon said the US was engaged in a winner-take-all “economic war” with China.
He added that he fought “every day” with another Goldman Sachs alumnus, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, and other administration figures who sought a more moderate approach towards dealing with America’s principal geopolitical rival. 
Mr Bannon’s abrupt departure is a reminder that Beijing’s strategy for “containing Trump” has so far been a successful one.
But it is also a strategy that has benefited greatly from that most precious of commodities — luck.  As it stands, Chinese officials cannot believe their luck, beginning with Mr Trump’s decision to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement on his first full day in office. 
The TPP would have locked the US and China’s largest Asian trading partners in a formidable economic block from which Beijing was initially excluded.
In the likely event that the Chinese government later applied for TPP entry, Washington would have had its best opportunity to pry open the China market since Beijing asked to join the World Trade Organisation in the late 1990s. 
As one disappointed US diplomat told the FT earlier this year: “We threw away our best leverage over China on day one.” 
A People’s Liberation Army general was as gleeful as the diplomat was deflated.
In a video of an internal talk that leaked online, Jin Yi’nan called the TPP decision a “grand gift, although [Trump] does not know it”.
In the months that followed Mr Trump’s TPP decision, Chinese officials breathed easier and easier as one threat after another melted away.  
Trump did not discard the long-standing “One China” as suggested by his unprecedented December phone call with Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen. 
He did not declare, as promised on the campaign trail, China a “currency manipulator”. 
And the deadline for a “100-day” trade and investment negotiation begun in Florida passed last month without a meaningful agreement. 
While Trump’s administration has just launched a probe into alleged Chinese theft of intellectual property, it will probably drag on for at least one year.
As a result Beijing has achieved its first objective vis-à-vis Trump: to avoid any economic disruptions with its most important trading partner ahead of a Communist party congress this autumn that will mark the start of Xi’s second term in office. 
Trump has, in other words, thus thrown out his second best piece of leverage over Beijing.  
China must still navigate difficult trade and investment negotiations with a US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, and a US trade representative who both understand that the Chinese Communist party’s unique brand of “state capitalism” poses challenges that the WTO is not equipped to handle. 
In his confirmation hearing in June, USTR Robert Lighthizer demonstrated that he understood the perils of Chinese state capitalism as well as Hillary Clinton did.
Mrs Clinton sounded her own alarm on the subject in a series of detailed speeches while secretary of state, and would probably have been laser-focused on the issue had she defeated Trump in last year’s presidential election. 
But Beijing’s showdown with Mr Ross and Mr Lighthizer will run for a year at least.
Xi can live with that, especially when pitted against an American president whose competence and authority waste further away with each passing week.

Perfidious Albion

Cambridge University Press faces backlash after bowing to China censorship pressure
By Simon Denyer

A student walks through the quadrangle of King's College, Cambridge, Nov. 24, 2005. 

BEIJING — Cambridge University Press faces a major backlash from academics after bowing to Chinese government demands to censor an important academic journal.
CUP announced Friday it had removed 300 articles and book reviews from a version of the “China Quarterly” website available in China at the request of the government.
The articles touched on topics deemed sensitive to the Communist Party, including the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989, policies towards Tibetan and Uighur ethnic minorities, Taiwan and the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.
The articles would still be available on a version of China Quarterly accessible outside China.
The demand to remove the articles came from China’s General Administration of Press and Publication, which warned that if they were not removed the entire website would be made unavailable in China.
But academics around the world have accused CUP of selling out and becoming complicit in censoring Chinese academic debate and history.
In an open letter published on, James A. Millward, a professor of history at Georgetown University called the decision “a craven, shameful and destructive concession” to the People’s Republic of China’s growing censorship regime.
Millward said the decision overruled the peer-review process and the views of editors about what should be in the journal and was a “clear violation of academic independence inside and outside China.”
He added it was akin to the New York Times or the Economist publishing versions of their papers inside China omitting content deemed offensive to the Party. 
“And as my colleagues Greg Distelhorst and Jessica Chen Weiss have written, ‘the censored history of China will literally bear the seal of Cambridge University.’”
“It is noteworthy that the topics and peoples CUP has so blithely chosen to censor comprise mainly minorities and the politically disadvantaged. Would you censor content about Black Lives Matter, Mexican immigrants or Muslims in your American publication list if Trump asked you to do to?,” he asked.
In a tweet, James Leibold, an associate professor at Melbourne’s La Trobe University, whose scholarship about the Xinjiang region was among the censored articles, called the decision “a shameful act."
And a petition is now circulating among academics warning that Cambridge University Press could face a boycott if it continues to acquiesce to the Chinese government’s demands.
“It is disturbing to academics and universities worldwide that China is attempting to export its censorship on topics that do not fit its preferred narrative,” Christopher Balding, an associate professor at Peking University HSBC School of Business in Shenzhen, China, the petition’s originator, wrote.
“If Cambridge University Press acquiesces to the demands of the Chinese government, we as academics and universities reserve the right to pursue other actions including boycotts of Cambridge University Press and related journals.”
The petition requests that only academics and people working in higher education sign, and give their affiliation. 
By Monday afternoon in China it had attracted 290 signatures on although it could not be immediately established how many signatories were academics.
In a statement, CUP said it has complied with the initial request “to ensure that other academic and educational materials we publish remain available to researchers and educators in this market.”
It added it had planned meetings “to discuss our position with the relevant agencies” at the Beijing Book Fair this week.
Experts said the decision was part of a broader crackdown on free expression in China under Xi Jinping that has intensified this year as the Communist Party becomes more confident and less inclined to compromise.
In the past, China's system of censorship, nicknamed the Great Firewall of China, has concentrated mainly on Chinese-language material, and has been less preoccupied with blocking English-language material, which is accessed only by a narrow elite. 
But that may now be changing.
“The China Quarterly is very reputable within academic circles, and it does not promote the "positive" energy that China wants to see,” said Qiao Mu, a former professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University who was demoted and ultimately left the university after criticizing the government. 
“Instead, it touches on historical reflection, talks about Cultural Revolution and other errors that China has made in the past. These are things that China does not like and does not want to be discussed.”
Qiao said the decision would have a negative effect on already limited academic freedom in China.
“For Chinese academics, the effect is mainly psychological,” he said. 
“They will think more when doing research and impose stricter self-censorship.”
Internet companies have also faced similar dilemmas: Google chose to withdraw from China rather than submit to censorship, and has been displaced here by a censored Chinese search engine, 
But LinkedIn has submitted to censorship and continues to operate here. 
Apple recently complied with a demand from the Chinese government to remove many VPN (virtual private network) applications that netizens use to access blocked websites, from its App Store in China.
Millward argued that Cambridge as a whole has more power than it perhaps realized in a battle of wills with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“China is not going to ban everything branded ‘Cambridge’ from the Chinese realm, because to do so would turn this into a big, public issue, and that is precisely what the authorities hope to avoid,” he wrote.
“To do so would, moreover, pit the CCP against a household name that every Chinese person who knows anything about education reveres as one of the world’s oldest and best universities. And Chinese, probably more than anyone else, revere universities, especially name-brand ones.
Cambridge University Press has made available a complete list of the censored articles here.

Open Letter to Cambridge University Press about its censorship of the China Quarterly

Open Letter to Cambridge University Press about its Censorship of the journal China Quarterly
By James A. Millward, Professor of History, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

Cambridge University Press’s decision to censor the journal China Quarterly as it is viewed online in China is a craven, shameful and destructive concession to the PRC’s growing censorship regime
It is also needless.
As recently reported, and admitted after the fact in a corporate statement, CUP has culled some 300 articles and reviews from a flagship journal on Chinese affairs after receiving a demand from some relevant organ in Beijing. (Possibly more alarming, but as yet unclear, is CUP’s admission that it has removed 1000 book titles from its sales website in China at the behest of the PRC party-state.) 
The works CUP is now censoring from China Quarterly were researched and written by scholars from around the world who believed that upon acceptance these works would actually appear in the journal and not be removed willy-nilly. 
The articles were published in China Quarterly only after peer-review and expert editing; books in its book-review section were also originally peer-reviewed and selected by knowledgeable editors. 
CUP is thus, in response to pressure from Chinese authorities and without consulting its authors, countermanding the peer-review process and overriding the journal’s own editors about content in the journal. 
This comprises a clear violation of academic independence outside as well as inside China.
Some book authors have recently agreed to allow limited censorship of their own books so that they might be published in Chinese translation. 
Often that censorship happens in the translation process itself, and can involve simple rewording as well as cutting whole sections.[1] 
Even where wholesale chopping of content has happened, however, this differs from what CUP is doing now. 
First of all, those have been the authors’ own decisions. 
Secondly, it is Chinese-language versions, not the original English text, that is affected. 
CUP is censoring the original English-language version of the China Quarterly as it is available in the Chinese market.
Cambridge University Press’s current concession is akin to the New York Times or The Economist letting the Chinese Communist Party determine what articles go into their publications — something they have never done. 
It would be unimaginable for these media to instead collaborate with PRC party censors to excise selected content from their daily or weekly editions. 
Rather, NYT and The Economist are banned in their entirety — but they remain whole. 
There are not incomplete, scissored-up, CCP versions of the New York Times or The Economist online in China. 
In a similar fashion, Google chose to pull out of China rather than let its searches be CCP-screened and selectively blocked. 
Cambridge University Press, on the other hand, is agreeably donning the hospital gown, untied in the back, baring itself to the Chinese scalpel, and crying “cut away!” 
But even this metaphor fails, since CUP is actually assisting, like a surgical nurse, in its own evisceration. 
The result is a misleading, neutered simulacrum of China Quarterly for the China market. 
And as my colleagues Greg Distelhorst and Jessica Chen Weiss have written, “the censored history of China will literally bear the seal of Cambridge University.” 
This is not only disrespectful of CUP’s authors; it demonstrates a repugnant disdain for Chinese readers, for whom CUP apparently deems a watered-down product to be good enough.
What is particularly chilling about Cambridge’s acquiescence in this case is that the list of pieces it cut seems to have been generated with a simple search on keywords and tags for Tian’anmen, Tibet, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Uyghur and the like. 
Does anyone think Chinese censors are actually reading this stuff? 
That blacklist of banned articles and reviews probably took less than an hour to compile with a few simple searches. 
Hey CUP, why don’t you and your CCP partners just create a bot to do the same thing? 
That way future editions of China Quarterly can be auto-expurgated without a human even having to glance at the tables of contents.
But the still greater concern is that if China Quarterly and then other journals published by Cambridge (such as the Journal of Asian Studies) — powerful institutions with global clout, not vulnerable individuals — just go along with this request to censor scholarship on these topics, will scholars inside or outside China still be eager to work on Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, the Uyghurs, Tian’anmen, Taiwan independence advocates, Liu Xiaobo, the Dalai Lama, Chinese dissidents, Falun Gong and so on? 
Or will they chose safer subjects? 
And how should the people who are the subject of these articles feel about Cambridge’s decision to airbrush them from the record? 
CUP may hide behind the excuse that this is a “pragmatic” decision to preserve “Chinese” access to its less sensitive material, but who the hell gives Cambridge University Press the right to decide that Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hong Kong activists and dissidents of all sorts are less worthy than other content? 
It is noteworthy that the topics and peoples CUP has so blithely chosen to censor comprise mainly minorities and the politically disadvantaged. 
Would you censor content about Black Lives Matter, Mexican immigrants or Muslims in your American publication list if Trump asked you to do to? 
So why do you think it’s fine to cut the oppressed and disenfranchised out of China Quarterly?
CUP’s passive self-bowdlerization is unlike individual author’s decisions for another reason. 
There have been several cases in recent years of top-ranked universities doing little or nothing when their own faculty are denied Chinese visas — when these scholars are, in effect, personally “censored.” 
When universities throw their own faculty under the bus or restrict campus activities related to topics the PRC deems too “sensitive,” university administrations claim to do so in order to preserve their overall access to or initiatives in China. 
But when upstanding universities have actually called China’s bluff, China has reversed itself, as it did after it attempted to sanction University of Calgary for a Dalai Lama honorary degree or when it offered to endow a Chair in China studies at Stanford — with the stipulation that the professor filling it would never to mention Tibet. (Original article here.)
CUP may be worried about its English-language pedagogical materials and other enterprises being banned in China, but it should not be. 
Even outside of Chinese universities, vast numbers of non-academics know and respect the name “Jianqiao.” 
China is not going to ban everything branded “Cambridge” from the Chinese realm, because to do so would turn this into a big, public issue, and that is precisely what the authorities hope to avoid. 
To do so would, moreover, pit the CCP against a household name that every Chinese person who knows anything about education reveres as one of the world’s oldest and best universities. 
And Chinese, probably more than anyone else, revere universities, especially name-brand ones. Cambridge University, like Stanford — or Calgary, for that matter! — can safely afford to say, “Sorry, China Quarterly is a package deal. Take it or leave it.” 
And if China chooses to leave it, we can trust resourceful Chinese colleagues and students to find workarounds to get and distribute the material, as they do for lots of English-language publications already (though that will be harder if good VPN’s disappear. #Thanks, Apple).
In recent years China has invested billions of yuan in a so far very successful effort to make its universities world-class. 
Professors with foreign Ph.D.’s are welcome in Chinese universities. 
Chinese scholars are encouraged and funded to go to conferences and spend semesters abroad as visiting scholars at foreign universities. 
Chinese libraries acquire foreign books and databases, which are especially useful in the many English-language global programs Chinese universities now run for domestic and international students. 
The field of China studies, once bifurcated between scholarship in China and that in the West, is increasingly integrated: we talk to each other in Chinese and in English at conferences, in publications and on platforms like Douban and WeChat (Weixin).
For some years, the PRC party-state censored publication in Chinese, but let English-language materials through, perhaps as a sop to intellectuals and the educated, globalizing middle class whom it successfully coopted. 
Now, by blocking VPNs, the PRC is more severely limiting the access of this trusted elite to the world at large. 
The party-state has intensified controls on publication and scholarship in China, and restricts Chinese access to scholarly tools from the world at large (Youtube, Wikipedia, Medium,, Google Scholar and other services are blocked in most of China). 
But in doing this, the PRC is reneging on its deal with these globalized, highly-educated elites, and pursuing policies directly contradicting those building up its universities. 
How long can this contradiction stand?
I have been periodically prevented from going to China for some 15 years now because I have written about Xinjiang. (A number of other scholars of Xinjiang, Tibet, and Chinese politics have likewise seen their visa access restricted.) 
This hurts China as much as it hurts me, since not only am I cut off from China, but the field of Xinjiang studies now carefully avoids interactions with Han scholars from the PRC. 
With reason, we hesitate to invite them to international conferences and seldom attend conferences in China or share our ideas with them. 
Chinese scholars and diplomats are quite aware of this problem. 
A number of Chinese academics, including highly-connected scholar-officials from Beijing think-tanks who directly advise the government, seek me out in Washington D.C. to ask about the newest English-language scholarship on Xinjiang — because they simply can’t get it, or learn about it, in China! 
Cambridge University Press should not abet this creeping constriction of Chinese access to the intellectual world at large by letting the party-state have its cake and eat it too. 
If the PRC authorities want to cut off their access to what the world’s scholars are saying — precisely about those thorniest problems where you’d think PRC would be most interested in fresh ideas — so be it. 
If they want to try to keep their own scholars ignorant of international scholarship, so be it. 
It’s a safe bet that most Chinese academic and political leaders are perhaps not so stupid, and will not continue along this academic cul-de-sac unless CUP and other publishers enable them.
Just say “no” to China’s self-defeating censorship demands, CUP, and I’ll happily continue to review books and manuscripts for you, essentially for free, as I do now. 
That’s the bargain you have with us, your readers and contributors from the scholarly world outside of China. 
You maintain your press’s academic integrity, and we work to produce and review your content with only symbolic remuneration (a few hundred dollars for a book that takes 10 years to write, or $150 for 2–3 days’ work reviewing a book manuscript). 
We are not in this business for the money. 
If you, an established, world-renowned educational institution sacrifice your academic integrity on venal or faux-pragmatic grounds, you cannot rely on our continued respect and cooperation.

The author received his MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where the journal China Quarterly is housed. 
He received his Ph.D. at Stanford and published his first book with Stanford University Press. 
He has published a chapter and book reviews in venues published by Cambridge University Press, and is a freqent peer-reviewer of manuscripts submitted to CUP publications. 
The review of Millward’s book, Eurasian Crossroads, by Nicolas Becquelin, is among the pieces cut from China Quarterly in China by Cambridge University Press.

[1] I have myself acquiesced to a bit of censorship in the “Acknowledgements” section of one book of mine recently published in China. 
For another volume, one directly concerning Xinjiang history, I instead published the Chinese translation in Hong Kong, where there remains more academic freedom than in the PRC proper. Mainland scholars can access and read the Hong Kong addition, but it is not sold in the PRC.

Academic Prostitution

Cambridge University Press faces boycott over China censorship
By Tom Phillips in Beijing

Cambridge University Press was urged to refuse censorship requests for not only its China Quarterly journal but also any other topics or publications. 

Cambridge University Press must reject China’s “disturbing” censorship demands or face a potential boycott of its publications, academics have warned.
In a petition published on Monday, academics from around the world denounced China’s attempts to “export its censorship on topics that do not fit its preferred narrative”.
The appeal came after it emerged that Cambridge University Press (CUP), the world’s oldest publishing house, had complied with a Chinese instruction to block online access to more than 300 politically sensitive articles from its highly respected China Quarterly journal. 
The blacklisted articles covered topics including Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen massacre and the cult of personality some claim is emerging around Xi Jinping.
The petition attacked CUP’s move and urged it “to refuse the censorship request not just for the China Quarterly but on any other topics, journals or publication that have been requested by the Chinese government”.
“If Cambridge University Press acquiesces to the demands of the Chinese government, we as academics and universities reserve the right to pursue other actions including boycotts of Cambridge University Press and related journals,” it added.
The author of the petition, Peking University economics professor Christopher Balding, said he hoped it would serve as an alert to how China had dramatically stepped up its efforts to stifle free thinking since Xi became its top leader in 2012and began a severe crackdown on academia and civil society. 
“I think this is an increasing problem that really needs to be addressed much more forcefully by the international academic community,” he said.
Balding complained that while it was fashionable for academics and publishers to attack US president Donald Trump, they were far more cautious about criticising Xi’s authoritarian regime for fear of reprisals. 
“Standing up to the Chinese government involves definite costs. It is not an easy thing to do. There will be potentially punitive measures taken against you. But if it is a principle that is right in the UK and if it is right in the US, then it should also be right in China. And there will be times when you have to accept costs associated with principles.”
Another signatory, Griffith University anthropologist David Schak, said he believed Cambridge University Press had sullied its centuries-old reputation by bowing to China’s demands
“Cambridge seems to be the one who is now censoring rather than China, even though they are doing it at the request of China ... They have soiled their copy book.”
Schak added: “It makes you wonder what they are in the business of doing ... I thought university presses were there to publish good research.”
“They are acceding to China whereas [they should have said]: ‘What you do, we can’t stop you from doing that but we are not going to do that ourselves.’ You put the onus entirely back on the Chinese government rather than cooperating with them.”
Suzanne Pepper, a Hong Kong-based writer whose piece on politics in the former colony was among the blocked China Quarterly articles, said she expected censorship from China’s rulers but not from CUP. 
It makes them complicit, accomplices in the fine art of censorship, which we are all supposed to deplore,” she said.
Chinese intellectuals also lamented the attempt to limit their access to foreign research. 
“This whole case makes me feel extremely disappointed,” Li Jingrui, a Chinese novelist, wrote on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter. 
In an oblique reference to China’s one-party state, she added: “I’m left with the feeling that there is absolutely no escape since every single breath on Earth belongs to the king.”

dimanche 20 août 2017

Rogue Nation

Hong Kong’s rapid descent into repression

Pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, right, and Nathan Law, left, speak outside the high court in Hong Kong on Thursday. They were sentenced to six to eight months in prison. 

IN 2014, as Hong Kong erupted into protests calling for free elections, Joshua Wong emerged as the face of the city’s pro-democracy Umbrella Movement
Just 17 years old at the time, he led demonstrators as they marched on a fenced government square and organized weeks of sit-ins thereafter. 
In the years since, he has continued to champion democratic reform, establishing a student-led political party that won a seat on the legislative council. 
Apparently, this was more than Beijing and the pro-China local government could bear: On Thursday, Mr. Wong and two other activists, Alex Chow and Nathan Law, were sentenced to six to eight months in prison for their role in the peaceful protests.
Thursday’s ruling overturns lighter penalties handed down last year. 
Mr. Wong and Mr. Law were initially sentenced to community service, and Mr. Chow was given a suspended sentence. 
That the Hong Kong government pressed forward with prosecution was troubling enough, but its decision to appeal the original penalties and push for jail time is particularly vindictive. 
It is also politically self-serving: Hong Kong law prohibits people sentenced to more than three months in prison from running for office for five years
By cracking down on three rising political stars, the pro-Beijing establishment has managed to cripple its opposition and discourage further criticism.
The sentences send a chilling message that speech and assembly are only permitted in the city if they support the status quo. 
This strikes at many Hong Kong residents’ deepest fear: that the local government has become an extension of Beijing. 
When Hong Kong was officially transferred from British to Chinese rule in 1997, it was on the condition that China would allow the city a measure of autonomy and democracy. 
Hong Kong has long prided itself on its independent judiciary and system of self-rule. 
It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that the local leadership is willing to jettison these principles.
Over the past three years, Beijing and its loyalists in Hong Kong have restricted the field of candidates allowed to run for chief executive; reached across borders to detain five Hong Kong booksellers who stocked politically sensitive books; cracked down on street protesters calling for democracy; and stacked the deck to elect a pro-China leader, Carrie Lam, who trailed in public opinion polls
Most recently, Chinese lawmakers reinterpreted Hong Kong’s charter to disqualify four pro-democracy legislators for peacefully protestingduring their swearing-in ceremony. 
Thursday’s decision should not be seen in isolation but as part of Hong Kong’s rapid descent into political repression.
What is especially sad about this crackdown is that it is so self-defeating: Both China and Hong Kong would benefit from a city that upholds the rule of law and promises a stable environment for investment. 
The more Hong Kong embraces authoritarianism, the less vibrant and prosperous it will be.

Bannon exit provides only temporary relief to China

Bey Ben Bland in Hong Kong

The departure from the White House of Steve Bannon, one of China’s strongest critics within the Trump administration, is likely to provide only temporary relief to Beijing, China foreign policy analysts say.
Mr Bannon warned shortly before he was ousted on Friday that the US and China were locked in an existential battle for domination of the global economy, telling The American Prospect that the US should be “maniacally focused” on that “economic war” with China.
Despite the exit of one of US president Donald Trump’s most outspoken nationalist advisers, the Trump administration went ahead on Friday with the formal launch of an investigation into Chinese intellectual property theft.
The Global Times, a tabloid newspaper that is owned by the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist party, argued in an editorial on Saturday that Mr Bannon’s “toxic legacy” when it comes to China should leave the White House with him.
But analysts argued that any respite would be temporary.
“It may be good for China in the short run but it won’t have a profound impact in the long run because he’s just one person and Trump has the final say,” said Chen Dingding, a professor of international relations at Jinan University in Guangzhou.
While some analysts have argued that Beijing can take advantage of Mr Trump’s transactional approach to politics and his diminution of the traditional foreign policy establishment, Chen said that the high turnover among the President’s staff made it very hard for China.
“Beijing does not prefer the personal approach, as it’s highly risky and unstable,” he said.
“The Chinese government would prefer to deal with institutions as they provide more certainty.” Ashley Townshend, an expert on China-US relations at the University of Sydney, said that even with Mr Bannon gone, many other Trump administration officials — including senior trade advisers Robert Lighthizer, Peter Navarro and Dennis Shea — are still pushing for aggressive measures to reduce the US trade deficit with China.
“If Beijing expects Trump’s Asia team to go soft in the wake of Bannon’s dismissal they will be sorely disappointed,” said Mr Townshend.
Some Chinese observers even argued that life could get tougher for Beijing without Mr Bannon in the White House because his isolationist views undermined Washington’s standing in Asia and enhanced China’s position as a result.
It was his nationalist economic agenda that led to the death of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was a huge strategic gain for China, said Zhang Baohui, a professor of political science at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.
Beyond killing off the TPP, a 12-nation trade agreement promoted by the Obama administration and seen by many as creating a rival economic bloc to China, Zhang said that the nationalist approach promoted by Mr Bannon had undermined the international legitimacy of the US more generally.
If Trump’s foreign policy tilts back to its more “traditional roots” without Mr Bannon, Beijing would stand to lose, he warned.
“The odd reality could be that while the establishment types in the Trump administration may tone down economic conflicts with China, they may also up the ante on strategic, security, and diplomatic fronts,” he said.
The Chinese foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Economic War

This '301' Torpedo Is About To Sink The S.S. China
By Gordon G. Chang

On Friday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally initiated what some are calling “the first shot in a trade war with China.”
“After consulting with stakeholders and other government agencies, I have determined that these critical issues merit a thorough investigation,” Lighthizer said in a statement posted on the USTR site. “I notified the President that today I am beginning an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.”
The 301 investigation will “determine whether acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce.”
Who needs an investigation? 
Chinese practices are blatantly predatory. 
Any administration at this time would have had to act.
The only question is the severity of the remedies the White House eventually adopts, perhaps in as few as two months. 
Those remedies should be severe if they are to be effective.
Last week, an “involved observer,” speaking anonymously to the Washington-insider Nelson Report, said it was “hard to imagine that an investigation won’t result in anything other than a broad indictment of China’s policies.”
Broad indictment it should be. 
China, often in violation of its trade obligations, has been requiring American companies to joint venture with local enterprises—thereby being force to share valuable technology with the Chinese partners—as a condition to market access.
Moreover, Beijing is increasingly using national security laws and regulations to take tech. 
“Central to Chinese cybersecurity law is the ‘secure and controllable’ standard, which, in the name of protecting software and data, forces companies operating in China to disclose critical intellectual property to the government and requires that they store data locally,” write Dennis Blair and Keith Alexander in their New York Times op-ed, aptly titled “China’s Intellectual Property Theft Must Stop.”
What the Chinese government cannot take by law, rule, or regulation, its enterprises steal, counterfeit, infringe, copy, or pirate.
And the Chinese take a lot. 
“All together, intellectual-property theft costs America up to $600 billion a year, the greatest transfer of wealth in history,” write Blair and Alexander. 
“China accounts for most of that loss.”
So what could be wrong with a Section 301 investigation? 
The investigation itself is not violative of America’s World Trade Organization obligations, but the remedies can be.
And that is why America’s trade experts are up in arms over the 301. 
Leading the charge is Chad Bown of the pro-China Peterson Institute for International Economics. 
“It became no longer necessary really for the United States that they have to use that law, because now we have an effective dispute settlement system under the WTO,” he told Xinhua News Agency, criticizing the Trade Act of 1974.
Despite what Bown told the official Chinese media outlet, the WTO’s dispute resolution procedure has been ineffective, especially in dealing with countries maliciously seeking to wound foreign competition.
Like China. 
China, almost from its accession to the global trading body in December 2001, has been implementing clearly non-compliant policies, knowing there will, for years, be no penalty. 
There are no penalties levied on a country for violations unless they persist after an adverse decision is handed down by a WTO dispute resolution panel.
That means a country can implement an obviously non-compliant policy, negotiate with the victims during a drawn out consultation period, stall some more, and wait for a decision to be issued. 
By the time the decision is issued, Beijing can injure—mortally—a competitor from another country.
So what is the solution? 
Consult ancient Chinese wisdom, specifically the Golden Rule of Confucius
To follow the advice of the ancient sage, America should treat China like China treats America.
Therefore, the Trump administration should impose harsh remedies on China for its various forms of intellectual property theft. 
And the president should be willing to adopt remedies that violate WTO rules if he thinks they will be the most effective.
If the president adopts non-compliant policies, Bown will almost certainly be outraged, but the U.S. can negotiate, stall, and drag out the eventual WTO proceedings. 
When an adverse decision is eventually handed down, the White House can remove the offending provision but then adopt another violative sanction. 
If Chinese trade officials complain of the new measure, Washington can repeat the process.
Moreover, as a practical matter, the United States may not have to repeal remedies that are found to violate WTO rules. 
China could very well decide not to complain.
Why might Beijing be so tolerant? 
There are four points to remember. 
First, last year America’s goods-and-services trade deficit with China, as most recently revised, was $309.3 billion. 
Trade deficit countries don’t have to worry about trade friction as they have little to lose.
America does not have much to lose, but let’s be realistic, the U.S. will be hurt in an escalation of the trade war the Chinese have been waging for decades. 
But let us also remember that after decades of misguided American trade policy, there are no longer any no-cost solutions.
Second, the U.S. does not have an economy geared to selling goods and services to China. 
China, however, has an economy increasingly geared to selling things to America.
Third, the American economy, for all its faults, is stable. 
China’s economy is slowing and heading, perhaps slowly but nonetheless surely, to a debt crisis.
Fourth, Washington can push China around. 
The American economy last year produced $18.57 trillion of gross domestic product. China claimed its 2016 GDP was $11.39 trillion. 
Bigger combatants have an edge in trade wars, especially when the gap is this large.
The U.S. holds the high cards. The only thing it lacks is political will.
To regain political will, all Washington has to do is realize that the World Trade Organization is like the League of Nations. 
The dream behind both bodies was noble, but the WTO is now, like the League was then, utterly incapable. 
Sometimes, the only way to defend multilateralism is to take unilateral action.
Beijing’s new line is that no nation wins a trade war. If Chinese leaders truly believe that, they will immediately stop nationwide theft of American intellectual property.
But if they will not put an end to such predation, Americans have no choice but to defend themselves.
The truth is that countries do win trade wars. And, in my view, the winner will be America.

samedi 19 août 2017

The US fired the first shot in a trade war with China

"Chinese are going to be mad, but I think at the same time they know the game that they're playing and they're going to be mad about being caught more than anything else." -- Expert
By Linette Lopez

The US has initiated an investigation into China's theft of US intellectual property (IP) using Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.
What that boils down to is that the US just fired the first shot in a trade war with China.
"On Monday, President Trump instructed me to look into Chinese laws, policies, and practices which may be harming American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development," said ambassador Robert Lighthizer in a statement on the US Trade Representative website.
"After consulting with stakeholders and other government agencies, I have determined that these critical issues merit a thorough investigation. I notified the President that today I am beginning an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974."
China sees the use of Section 301 as an act of aggression because it allows the American president to act against the Chinese economy without consulting the World Trade Organization (WTO)
China has been a member of the organization since 2001. 
The use of Section 301 fell out of fashion around that time because US leaders didn't see the point of using it anymore as the WTO's framework had more legitimacy. 
China has been warning the Trump administration against bypassing the WTO since January. 
And even though initiating a 301 investigation is not a violation of the WTO in and of itself, earlier this week Chinese state media was alive with condemnation of the Trump administration for even considering it.
That isn't to say that the US doesn't have a legitimate grievance; experts around the world pretty much agree that China has a problem with stealing companies' trade secrets.
"They're going to be mad, but I think at the same time they know the game that they're playing and they're going to be mad about being caught more than anything else," said Brian O’Shaughnessy, an IP attorney at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP and president and chair of the Board of the Licensing Executives Society, an organization for IP professionals. 
"There's no question they're manipulating the IP system."
Even without anti-China Steve Bannon in the White House, many in the Trump administration will carry on his ideology through policy, including the president.

US products
All this makes Chinese very nervous about their dealings with this administration, and according to reports they are prepared to fight fire with fire. 
It is the largest market for US soybeans (62% in 2016) and airplanes (25% of Boeing passenger planes in 2016). 
It the second-largest market for US cotton (14% in 2016), auto (17% in 2016), and semiconductors (15% in 2016). 
And then there's what a trade war would do to the cost of things Americans buy. 
If China retaliates, the price of American goods will go up, and markets that were once open to us may start to close.

Liu Xiaobo's widow reappears in YouTube video

Liu Xia resurfaces for the first time since her husband Liu Xiaobo's funeral amid concerns about her fate.
Liu Xia was last seen in government-released images of Liu Xiaobo's funeral.

The widow of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo has appeared for the first time since her husband's funeral in a video posted on YouTube, which is blocked in China.
Liu Xia's friends have raised concern about her fate, saying they have not been able to speak to her since her husband's sea burial on July 15.
She was last seen in government-released images of Liu Xiaobo's funeral.
"I am recovering in a province outside of Beijing. I ask you to give me time to mourn," said Liu in the minute-long video posted on Friday.
Dressed in a black t-shirt and black trousers, Liu Xia was sitting on a white sofa next to a coffee table while holding a lit cigarette.
"I will see you one day in top form. While Xiaobo was sick, he also looked at life and death with some distance, so I also have to readjust. I will be with you again when my situation generally improves," she said.
Liu Xia, 56, has been under effective house arrest since her husband, a prominent dissident since the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, won the Nobel Prize in 2010. 
He was sentenced to 11 years in jail on subversion charges in 2009.
Friends of the couple raised questions about whether Liu Xia made the comments in Friday's video out of her own free will.
"It is certain that she was forced by the authorities to make this video," Hu Jia, a Chinese dissident and friend of the couple, told the AFP news agency on Saturday.
"How can anyone who does not even enjoy freedom express her will freely?"
The name of the film-maker, the place and date of filming, were not specified, but it would be unusual for the video to be released without the knowledge of the authorities. 
Plainclothes security agents guard Liu Xia's Beijing apartment.
Jared Genser, Liu Xia's lawyer, who has filed a complaint to the United Nations, has accused the Chinese government of her "enforced disappearance".
Chinese authorities have said that Liu Xia was "free" and have told diplomats who asked about her whereabouts that her lack of communication was due to her desire to mourn in peace.
Before the death of her husband, Liu Xia had told diplomats and friends that she wished to leave China should Liu Xiaobo be released.
Liu had requested to receive treatment abroad after his terminal cancer diagnosis, a wish that friends believe was in reality for his wife's sake. 
The government, however, refused to release him.
He died aged 61 while still in custody at a Chinese hospital on July 13, becoming the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky in 1938.

The Necessary War

This is how it could go down when China and India went to war
By Blake Stilwell
For more than a month, Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a standoff on a remote but strategically important Himalayan plateau near where Tibet, India, and Bhutan meet.

A war between the world’s largest democracy and the world’s largest communist state may not seem likely to the casual observer. 
But not only is it possible, it’s happened before. Only things were very different back then.
China was facing an economic collapse in the early 1960s in the years following the Great Leap Forward. 
The country was struggling to feed its people, let alone support an all-out war.
India, on the other hand, was on an economic upturn. 
Militarily, however, India was unprepared and could only field 14,000 troops, compared to China’s exhaustive manpower.
In 1962, Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong invaded India for granting asylum to the Dalai Lama and not supporting the Chinese occupation of Tibet (Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was an outspoken critic of the occupation). 
The Chinese won the harsh mountain war, fought without navies or air forces, at 14,000 feet.
Mao later told Sri Lankan and Swedish delegations the war was essentially to teach India a lesson.

Potential causes of a new Sino-Indian war

The 1962 war only lasted a month, resulting in slight border changes and a now-ongoing dispute on just where the border is — namely in two areas called Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, which could re-spark a conflict today. 
But any border disputes could turn the mountainous region hot.
The most recent standoff in August 2017 was about an obscure plateau in the Himalayan Doklam Plateau region, which borders India, China, and Bhutan. 
India supports Bhutan’s claim to the area, while both major powers have scores of troops in the region.
The spark for that standoff is an unfinished road from China.
China also supports India’s arch rival Pakistan, turning any conflict into a potential two-front war. But India doesn’t take it all laying down. 
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi confronted China’s assertiveness from his first day in office — when he invited the exiled Tibetan government to his swearing-in ceremony.

A map of Doklam, a disputed area between China, India, and Bhutan.

The two countries clashed along their border several times, including one incident over Tibet in 1967 and another near miss 1987 over Arunachal. 
There were also smaller incidents in 2013 and 2014 in Ladakh, where India has since loaded the area with infantry, tanks, and reserves to be prepared for any potential aggression from China.
But the very likely spark that could drive the two Asian giants to war could come from a clash over resources. 
In this case it wouldn’t be over oil, it would be over water
Both countries have an eye on the fresh water and hydroelectric power from the Brahmaputra River.
Water is not the only resource in question, though. 
Earlier in 2016, China prevented India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which controls the trade of nuclear material and tech.

Technology and numbers

A pilot in the cockpit of a Jian-10 fighter jet at Yangcun Air Force base on the outskirts of Tianjin municipality, April 13, 2010, during a media trip to the 24th Air Force Division of the People's Liberation Army.

China and India are now economic powerhouses, 2nd and 7th (respectively) in world GDP rankings. Militarily, India is number four on the GlobalFirepower rankings and boasts the largest standing volunteer army at 1.13 million troops with 21 million in reserve. 
Ranked number three on the same scale, China’s armed forces have 2.3 million active troops with another 2.3 million in reserve.
China’s technology is superior to India’s, but not by much. 
The Chinese air forces also vastly outnumber India’s somewhat antiquated air force. 
The Chinese also have a homegrown version of the F-35, which can outmatch India’s 50-year-old MiG-21s. 
The Chinese J-20 is currently the best for Chinese air superiority, if it’s operational in time for such a conflict.
India is working with Russia on developing a 5th-generation Sukhoi fighter with capabilities similar to the American F-22. 
But the Indian air force has been outnumbered and outclassed on many occasions and still came up with a win. 
Training and experience count for a lot. More on that in a minute.
The Indian Navy's Scorpene submarine INS Kalvari escorted by tugboats as it arrives at Mazagon Docks Ltd, a naval-vessel ship-building yard, in Mumbai, India, October 29, 2015.

India’s Navy matches China’s with two aircraft carrier groups but China still edges India in technological capability — barely. 
China also dwarfs India’s tank and submarine corps, with five times as many of each. China also has twice as many warships and military aircraft.
India’s advantage is that, despite China’s superiority in merchant marine, its sea lanes come very close to Indian waters. 
This would force the Chinese to divert ships used for a blockade to protect their shipping. 
This is why both countries invest in developing submarines and anti-sub technology.
No matter what, the air and sea war would be a slugfest. 
Even so, the primary conflict would likely be between two land armies. 
Or three if Pakistan decides to take advantage of the situation.

Joota on the ground

Chinese paramilitary policemen take an oath ahead of the 96th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Kunming, Yunnan province, China.

The problem with the major border disputes is that the border in question is high in the Himalayas, making quick thrusts and land grabs unlikely. 
A large disparity in ground troops between the opposing forces will decide who advances. 
China may have the manpower to make taking the disputed provinces possible.
A significant difference in India’s favor is that its troops are battle-hardened and have a long tradition of fighting to defend India’s borders. 
The Indian Army has been fighting Pakistan, terrorism, and a host of insurgencies for decades. 
Its last war ended in 1999, and it has employed significant paramilitary and special operations forces ever since.
The Chinese haven’t seen real fighting since the 1979 war with Vietnam. 
That war lasted just shy of four weeks, with each side claiming victory. 
The Chinese wanted to punish Vietnam for being in the Soviet sphere while proving to the world the USSR could not protect its allies. 
It didn’t work. 
The Vietnamese repelled the Chinese People’s Liberation Army using only border militias.
India's Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel pose for pictures inside their base camp in New Delhi, November 6, 2014.

The truth is, the Chinese PLA, for all its growth and advances in technology, has not truly been tested since the Korean War. 
China’s biggest equalizer is its ballistic missile force, capable of hitting well inside India.
China’s biggest advantage is its economy. 
If it suffers no sanctions as a result of an invasion, it could sustain a protracted war much longer than India. 
In this instance, India’s best hope is to strangle Chinese shipping using its sizable submarine force. India sits with its boot on the neck of the Chinese economy.
If it came to a nuclear exchange, India would not fare well. 
China has a stockpile of ballistic missiles and with major Indian cities so close to the Chinese border, it doesn’t even need longer-ranged weapons to annihilate major urban centers. 
Conversely, India has few of these and primary targets in China are much further away. 
Luckily, both countries have a “no first use” policy, making a nuclear exchange unlikely.

How it plays out

An officer from the Indian Central Reserve Police Force during preparations for Republic Day parade, near the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, January 12, 2016. India marks Republic Day on January 26.

India invading China is highly unlikely. 
The Indian Army would not have the ground force necessary to drive through the Himalayas and sustain such a push.
This war would be fought with light infantry, mountain troops, and light armor. 
China has the advantage in numbers, but India has experienced veteran soldiers. 
Even aircraft would have trouble fighting in these mountains, but the Indian Army has developed specialized attack helicopters just for this purpose: the HAL Druv and HAL Light Attack helicopters.
China has very few airfields in the area, which would limit its ability to provide air cover, whereas India’s Air Force maintains considerable assets in the area.
India also has multiple layers of anti-air and anti-missile defense and is developing more. 
China would have to get the bulk of its ground forces across the Himalayas as fast as possible, or the war would grind to a halt.
Any halt to the Chinese advance would be a de facto win for India. 
China would have to completely capture the disputed territories and move into India to be able to claim victory. 
China’s only real chance to progress into the subcontinent is to perform an Inchon landing-style maneuver from the sea, but that would require going through India’s submarine force unopposed.
Soldiers from a special unit of the People's Armed Police in Xinjiang at a training session in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China.

Frankly, any conflict between the two would be explosive and bloody, requiring a lot of manpower and ending with a massive loss of life. 
The geography and population density between the two countries makes both of them unconquerable.

Cambridge University Press blocks readers in China from articles

Academics and contributors dismayed after hundreds of CUP articles in China Quarterly become inaccessible in country
By Richard Adams
The British Tradition

Cambridge University Press has blocked readers in China from accessing hundreds of academic articles – including some published decades ago – after a request by Chinese authorities, arguing that it did so to avoid its other publications from being barred.
The publisher confirmed that hundreds of articles in China Quarterly, a respected scholarly journal, would be inaccessible within China, after a letter from the journal’s editor protesting against the move was published.
“We can confirm that we received an instruction from a Chinese import agency to block individual articles from China Quarterly from within China,” CUP said. 
“We complied with this initial request to remove individual articles, to ensure that other academic and educational material we publish remains available to researchers and educators in this market.”
The decision was greeted with dismay by academics and contributors to the journal.
“We are shocked by Cambridge University Press’s decision to comply with requests for censorship,” a group of authors, including Anna Ahlers, a professor in modern Chinese politics and society at the University of Oslo, wrote in an open letter. 
“Hopefully CUP will reverse its policy and insist on academic freedom even if Chinese authorities do not.”
The decision marks a more aggressive turn by Chinese authorities, which in the past have blocked access to international news, often through its “great firewall” that restricts internet traffic. 
But the move against a relatively small-circulation academic journal is unusual.
A list of the more than 300 articles banned by the Chinese government agency show that many involve the disputed nation of Tibet, with titles including “The position of Tibet in international law” published in 1968 and another “The situation in Tibet” published in 1961.
Others on the blocked list discuss events around the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, the legacy of Mao Zedong and China’s cultural revolution in the 1960s, including an article entitled: “The collar revolution: everyday clothing in Guangdong as resistance in the cultural revolution”.
Tim Pringle, editor of the journal, posted a letter expressing his “deep concern and disappointment” at China’s decision.
“The China Quarterly is the world’s leading China area studies journal. The articles it publishes are subject to rigorous, double-blind peer review, and are of the highest international standing,” Pringle said. 
“Scholars from academic institutions all over the world have chosen to publish in the China Quarterly precisely because of our high standards and high impact.”
CUP said it would raise the issue with the agencies at the Beijing book fair next week. 
“The issue of China and censorship is not a short-term issue and therefore requires a longer-term approach. There are many things we can’t control but we will take every opportunity to influence the agenda,” CUP said.
Pringle, a lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, told the New York Times that the bans would particularly hurt academics within China itself. 
“It’s a real pity that as China goes out to the world, it is accompanied by restrictions on academic freedom,” he said.
Zhan Jiang, a professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, told the NYT: “This is unprecedented that the censorship has reached out to the academic sphere. There are many Chinese scholars who return to China after studying overseas and they need to do research based on material in English. This means that there will be limits and more hardships on their research.”

Academic prostitution: Cambridge University Press sells its soul over Chinese censorship

Academics decry publisher’s decision to comply with a Chinese request to block more than 300 articles from leading China studies journal
By Tom Phillips in Beijing
A list of the blocked articles, published by CUP, shows they focus overwhelmingly on topics China’s one-party state regards as taboo.

The world’s oldest publishing house, Cambridge University Press, has been accused of being an accomplice to the Communist party’s bid to whitewash Chinese history after it agreed to purge hundreds of politically-sensitive articles from its Chinese website at the behest of Beijing’s censors.
The publisher confirmed on Friday that it had complied with a Chinese request to block more than 300 articles from the China Quarterly, a leading China studies journal, in order “to ensure that other academic and educational materials we publish remain available to researchers and educators” in China.
A list of the blocked articles, published by CUP, shows they focus overwhelmingly on topics China’s one-party state regards as taboo, including the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, Mao Zedong’s catastrophic Cultural Revolution, Hong Kong’s fight for democracy and ethnic tensions in East Turkestan and Tibet.
They include articles by some of the world’s top China specialists including Columbia University’s Andrew Nathan, George Washington University’s David Shambaugh, and Harvard University scholars Roderick MacFarquhar and Ezra Vogel.
A piece by Dutch historian Frank Dikötter and a book review by the Guardian’s former China correspondent, John Gittings, about the Cultural Revolution were also censored.
In its statement, CUP insisted it was committed to freedom of thought and expression and had been “troubled by the recent increase in requests of this nature” from China. 
The publisher vowed to raise the issue with the “revelant agencies” in Beijing at an upcoming book fair.
But on Saturday, as reports of the publisher’s move spread, it faced a growing outcry from academics and activists who called for the decision to be reversed.
“Pragmatic is one word, pathetic more apt,” tweeted Rory Medcalf, the head of the national security college at the Australian National University.
John Garnaut, a longtime China correspondent and former adviser to the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, described it as “an extraordinary capitulation” to China.
Renee Xia, the international director of the Chinese Human Rights Defenders network, accused the publisher of having “sold its soul for millions of Chinese govt dollars”.
Andrew Nathan, whose name appears three times in the list of censored articles, told the Guardian: “If the Press acceded to a Chinese request to block access to selected articles, as I gather is the case, it violated the trust that authors placed in it and has compromised its integrity as an academic publisher.”
Nathan, the editor of a seminal work on the Tiananmen crackdown, added: “I imagine [CUP] might argue that it was serving a higher purpose, by compromising in order to maintain the access by Chinese scholars to most of the material it has published. This is similar to the argument by authors who allow Chinese translations of their work to be censored so that the work can reach the Chinese audience. [But] that’s an argument I have never agreed with.”
“Of course, there may also be a financial motive, similar to Bloomberg, Facebook, and others who have censored their product to maintain access to the Chinese market. This is a dilemma, but if the West doesn’t stand up for its values, then the Chinese authorities will impose their values on us. It’s not worth it.”
In an open letter two US scholars, Greg Distelhorst and Jessica Chen Weiss, complained that CUP’s move meant Chinese academics and scholars would now only have access to a “sanitized” version of their country’s history.
To me the problem is pretty straightforward: the problem is publishing a politically-curated version of Chinese history and doing so in the name of Cambridge University,” Distelhorst, an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the Guardian.
This makes Cambridge University Press an active participant in rewriting history When a government asks you to censor a piece of scholarship, that request is fundamentally opposed to a principle of academic freedom that I believe to be important to Cambridge and to many universities.”
In a statement the editor of China Quarterly, Tim Pringle, voiced “deep concern and disappointment” at the tightening controls in China. 
“This restriction of academic freedom is not an isolated move but an extension of policies that have narrowed the space for public engagement and discussion across Chinese society.”
Distelhorst said he sympathised with CUP and particularly the editors of China Quarterly: “Receiving censorship requests puts them in a really difficult position and forces a lot of hard trade-offs ... [But] I hope they will reconsider their decision to selectively censor articles and then present the censored version of the journal to the Chinese public.”
Since Xi Jinping took power nearly five years ago Beijing has dramatically stepped up its efforts to control Chinese academia, with the president last year calling for universities to be transformed into Communist party “strongholds”.
A growing number of intellectuals – the majority political scientists or international relations and law experts – have sought refuge in the US. 
“It is not as dramatic as the refugees from Hitler; not as dramatic as the enormous number who turned up [after Tiananmen] and we had to deal with. But it is growing and I am seeing them,” the veteran China expert Jerry Cohen, who has been helping some of the refugee scholars, said in an interview last year.
Foreign academics have also been targeted, with Chinese authorities denying visas to academics deemed to be focusing on unwelcome topics. 
Until now, however, foreign academic journals appeared to have largely avoid scrutiny.
Nathan said China’s list of censorship demands to the CUP appeared to have been generated “by a naive machine search of article and review titles” which had targeted key words and names deemed sensitive. 
He called the move “a useless overreach” by Beijing.
“What can it accomplish? I’m sorry to say that information control often works. But if you have so much money, staff, and time, that you can burrow down to the level of censoring academic publications in a foreign language that could only be used by your own academic community, then I think your censorship organs are over funded and you would do well to cut their budgets. As the saying goes, this is lifting up a stone only to drop it on one’s own foot.”
One of the censored China Quarterly articles captures the kind of material China’s authoritarian leaders would prefer to see buried.
In his 2016 contribution, The Once and Future Tragedy of the Cultural Revolution, Harvard’s MacFarquhar writes about the burgeoning Mao-esque personality cult around Xi and ponders “the vigorous attempt by the regime to consign the Cultural Revolution to the dustbin of history by discouraging research and teaching on the subject”.
MacFarquhar writes: “The dangers of inducing national amnesia is encapsulated in George Santayana’s famous dictum: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’”