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Censorship in China

Outspoken liberal Chinese magazine Yanhuang Chunqiu stops publication after management purge

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 July, 2016, 7:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 July, 2016, 9:14am

An outspoken mainland liberal political magazine has stopped publication following a reshuffle of top management last week, ­according to a notice signed by its sacked publisher.

The decision announced by long-time Yanhuang Chunqiu publisher Du Daozheng reflected less tolerance in the establishment for reformers and liberals, a former editor of the magazine said.

In a statement dated Sunday, Du said the magazine’s editorial staff made the decision after a ­series of sackings and demotions initiated by the cultural ministry academy overseeing the journal.

“Anybody who publishes any periodicals with the title of Yanhuang Chunqiu will be nothing to do with [the current editorial committee],” the statement said.

Outspoken liberal Chinese magazine Yanhuang Chunqiu stops publication after management purge

The influential journal has a monthly circulation of about 200,000 and voiced support for constitutional democracy. It is also known for running articles that contest the official version of Communist Party history.

The magazine represented reformists within the party and liberals within the establishment
Yanhuang Chunqiu executive editor Hong Zhenkuai

It has had the backing of various retired senior party and government officials but came under pressure from the authorities in recent years to soften its editorial stance.

“The mindset of domestic intellectuals may change [as a result of stopping publication],” former Yanhuang Chunqiu executive editor Hong Zhenkuai said.

“The magazine represented reformists within the party and liberals within the establishment.

“One of its key positions was to urge the party to advance political reform.”

Liberal magazine Yanhuang Chunqiu’s successor plan stalled amid red tape and intense political pressure

The magazine was founded by reform-minded party veterans in 1991 and the announcement of the end of its publication came just days after the Chinese National Academy of Arts revealed it had sacked Du, 92, and demoted its chief editor, Xu Qingquan.

The statement signed by Du also accused the academy of ­unilaterally abandoning an agreement with the magazine’s ­editorial staff, violating freedom of publication.

The statement also said the editorial staff lost control over the magazine’s official website after academy staff “burst into the newsroom” and changed the website’s password.