London Book Fair's Focus On China Irks Activists

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Britain's biggest book fair is facing criticism of its decision to extend a special invitation to China, a country that regularly censors and imprisons authors.

The three-day fair, which opens Monday, features readings from about 20 Chinese authors and is being attended by more than 180 Chinese publishers.

The invited authors were chosen by the British Council in collaboration with the Chinese agency that regulates printed media.

Critics say the selection excludes dissident voices such as Gao Xingjian - China's only Nobel literature laureate - or jailed political activist Liu, who won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

Book fair organizers say the event is "an opportunity to deepen understanding and strengthen cultural and business links between the U.K. and China."

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