Frequently Asked Questions about the Journal of Asian Studies and Censorship in China

In a statement released at #AsiaNow on Monday, August 21, the officers of the Association for Asian Studies wrote that Cambridge University Press (CUP) had received a request from the Chinese government that CUP censor approximately 100 Journal of Asian Studies (JAS) articles from the Chinese version of its website. As the statement has circulated, the AAS has received inquiries from both the media and association members asking for additional details about the situation. A few of the most frequently asked questions and responses from the AAS officers appear below.

When did AAS receive the censorship request via CUP?
Friday, August 18.

Do you have any details about what consequences would ensue if CUP doesn’t comply?
We are pleased that CUP reversed its decision and are continuing to monitor the situation.

How is AAS following up with CUP?
We are in contact with the individual in charge of the publication of journals at CUP. She has informed us of CUP’s reversal. She has also promised to keep us informed should there be any changes in that decision. We are continuing to monitor the situation. We hope that China will appreciate the importance of ensuring that their scholars are able to avail themselves of the best of international scholarship published in rigorously peer-reviewed top-tier journals such as JAS. We remain committed to opposing censorship in any form and continuing to promote a free exchange of academic research among scholars around the world.

Has there been any direct contact between AAS and China’s General Administration of Press and Publications or any other PRC government entities about this issue?
No. At the present time, no JAS articles have been removed from the CUP website.

Have any other publishers or publication databases ever been asked by any Chinese government entities to remove JAS articles or is this the first time? If it’s not the first time, could you provide some details about previous incidents?
We believe it is the first time. To the best of our knowledge, none of the databases which include JAS have been asked to remove JAS articles. If there are such databases, we would want to know.