Official denies banning books

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 February, 2007, 12:00am

A senior publishing official has rejected reports that the General Administration of Press and Publication was behind a much-criticised ban of eight books on historic and political events by intellectuals and writers.

The administration has been under fierce attack from mainland and overseas intellectuals over the past weeks for imposing ideologically driven bans and breaching Beijing's pledges to allow freedom of expression.

Administration deputy director Yan Xiaohong said in Beijing yesterday: 'My administration had not banned the eight books.'

But he admitted that the administration had carried out investigations into the eight books.

'We indeed investigated and handled the eight books according to the law because some contained pornographic content, some could cause religious and ethnic minority problems and some have touched on national security and state secrets,' Mr Yan said.

He did not give further details, but denied banning them.