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The censorship controversy that hit Cambridge University Press sent a chill along the stands staffed by publishers from nearly 90 countries at the Beijing International Book Fair, which opened Wednesday.Some acknowledged their companies have already resorted to self-censorship to ensure that their books do not offend and are published in China.CUP had given similar arguments when it initially complied with a Chinese import agency's demand to block articles from its China Quarterly journal, before reversing course Monday after coming under fire from the academic community.In an about-face, the publisher announced Monday that it was restoring access to the articles after international academics criticized CUP for succumbing to Chinese pressure and launched a petition demanding that it reverse course.A representative of another major American publisher, who also requested anonymity, said that a factor influencing self-censorship decisions is that there would be "no point" in producing books that will likely get banned.
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