- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
London Book Fair’s focus on China irks activists
A lone protester demonstrated outside the “China Market Focus” section of the fair Monday morning, holding a picture of imprisoned Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo and a sign saying “stop literary persecution.” Writers and anti-censorship groups also have criticized the decision to invite an officially sanctioned slate of Chinese writers to the fair.
The three-day book fair features seminars on Chinese literature and readings from about 20 Chinese authors, and is being attended by more than 180 Chinese publishers.
The invited authors, who include internationally known writers such as Bi Feiyu and Mo Yan and best-selling young novelist Annie Baobei, were chosen by the British Council in collaboration with China's General Administration of Press and Publications, the agency that regulates printed media.
Critics say the selection excludes dissident voices such as Gao Xingjian _ China’s only Nobel literature laureate and a resident of France _ and jailed writer and political activist Liu, who won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
“The fair is giving the Communist party a stage on which to perform its propaganda show,” he told The Guardian newspaper.
The Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest publishing trade show, faced similar criticism when it made China its special guest in 2009.
London Book Fair organizers say Chinese writers not on the official list, including exiles, will attend the fair outside the official China Focus slate.
Fair director Alistair Burtenshaw and British Council literature chief Susie Nickin defended the China program as “a great opportunity to deepen understanding and strengthen cultural and business links between the U.K. and China.”
They said the British Council was promoting events with a wider slate of Chinese writers around the country.
“Censorship and human rights are expected to feature prominently in all the discussions and debates. These are key issues for U.K. audiences,” Burtenshaw and Nickin said in a letter published in Monday’s Guardian newspaper.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Vietnam says it may have found door of missing Malaysian jet as intel look into stolen passports
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
- FIELDS: Oscars' fantasy on the Left Coast
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again