Chinese writers defy book fair ban

Via Deutsche Welle, the opening paras of an article on how the organizers of the largest yearly bookfair, the Frankfurt Bookfair, caved in to the political demands of the Beijing government & how the writers reacted. You can read the complete article here.

The Chinese government succeeded in getting them banned, but it seems it can’t stop them coming: Dissident writers Bei Ling and Dai Qing are preparing to attend Frankfurt’s book symposium.

The writers Bei Ling and Dai Qing remain determined to attend a controversial literary symposium in Frankfurt, despite Chinese attempts to exclude them.

Dissident Chinese writer Bei ling
Dissident Chinese writer Bei ling

The symposium, entitled “China and the world – perception and reality,” was initially intended to clear up prejudices about the guest country – China – ahead of the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair, which begins in mid-October.

What the organizers had intended as a promotional preamble soon became a PR nightmare when China made it clear that if the organizers persisted in including dissident writers, it would pull out of the symposium altogether.

The Fair’s organizers bowed to Chinese pressure and Bei Ling, Dai Qing and several other dissident authors found that their invitations had been revoked.

If the organizers were hoping that the writers would go quietly, however, they were disappointed. Author Bei Ling has said that he will defy the ban and journalist Dai Qing has already arrived in Germany.

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