French author and economist Thomas Piketty revealed that the sequel to his well-regarded 2014 book might not reach China. This comes as he declined requests from publishers in the country to remove certain parts of his book. He regarded such as censorship.
Refusing to Cut
Piketty revealed that his book titled “Capital and Ideology,” published in France last year and in the US last March, would not be available in China “for the time being.” He also slammed the requests as absurd. However, his book will be available in Taiwan. Piketty is hoping that the book also reaches Hong Kong, despite Beijing’s introduction of new security law in the region.
The New York Times quoted the well-known author saying in an interview that “they shouldn’t be afraid of a book like that; it’s a sign of weakness.”
Thomas Piketty, the renowned economist, refused Chinese demands that he cut parts of his book if he wanted it published on the mainland.
“They shouldn’t be afraid of a book like that, it’s a sign of weakness,” he said. https://t.co/xoD9eart05
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 1, 2020
Furthermore, Piketty noted that if “they’re afraid of a book like this, what are they going to do with demonstrators in Hong Kong or one day in Beijing or Shanghai, as it will eventually happen?”
In the NYT article, Piketty revealed that several Chinese publishers wanted to cut some parts. They requested his French publisher to remove certain portions of his book, both from French and English editions.
The parts that the Chinese publishers wanted to remove are topics about China. Such include “rapid rise of inequality” in the region, per The Times.
For the French author, granting the requests of the Chinese publishers while retaining the rest “would make no sense.” He also noted that this move just shows how China refuses “an open debate on different economic and political systems.”
Piketty’s Previous Work
Many admired his distinguished book in 2014. Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” focused on Western countries and international audience widely received the work. Part of that success included selling tens of thousands of copies in China, per the NYTimes. Even Chinese leaders regarded his book to highlight their country’s economic model and defend the relevance of Marxist political economy.