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China Cleans up School Library Books — by Burning Them

In late October, the library in Zhenyuan County in China’s northwestern Gansu Province burned some 60 books. The photo of the book burning scene spread widely online and received public attention. The book burning incident resulted from a directive that the Chinese Ministry of Education issued in October. The “Notice on Launching a Special Campaign to Examine and Cleanse Books in Nationwide Elementary and Middle School Libraries” requires schools to conduct a self-examination of books in accordance with the “cleanup standards.” The “clean-up standards,” were attached to the notice. They stated that the books to be cleansed should include “illegal books,” “inappropriate books,” and “books with a poor appearance so they are not worthy of preservation.”

Hu Ping, an overseas independent scholar overseas, believes the burning of the books reflects the CCP’s control over the people’s ideology, which also includes actions such as cleaning online postings and college informants. Hu told the BBC that book censorship is not new to mainland China. The books stored in libraries have already been screened. However, under the existing mechanism of censorship, the book burning reflects the current regime’s dramatic leaning toward the left.

Source: BBC Chinese, December 11, 2019