Shanghai Book Traders, a Chinese book import agency, told the AP on Monday that as expected it was suspending plans to import former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “Hard Choices.”

An employee of the company — which would have been the key importer of the English-language version of the book — who identified himself as ‘Hua,’ stated that the agency canceled their order of Ms. Clinton’s newest memoir after discovering some of the book’s content — but did not identify what in particular the company deemed problematic.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton toast during a luncheon at the U.S. State Department on January 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. Clinton and U.S. Vice President Joseph R. Biden hosted Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is in the U.S. for a state visit, for a luncheon. (Image Source: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images North America)

Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton toast during a luncheon at the U.S. State Department on January 19, 2011 in Washington, DC.
(Image Source: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images North America)

The New York Times notes that among other China-related sections of the book, Clinton devotes an entire chapter “to the drama of how she personally intervened to help a blind dissident, Chen Guangcheng, seek refuge in the United States Embassy in Beijing in 2012, and then negotiated over several days with furious Chinese officials to allow him to go to the United States.”

According to the Times:

“The Chinese government would interpret Mrs. Clinton’s personal involvement in the Chen case as an effort by the American secretary of state to “overturn” the regime, an editor at a Chinese publishing house said in an interview Friday. The editor declined to be named for fear of reprisals.

“Chen Guangcheng is sensitive by himself,” the editor said. “But if Hillary supported him, that’s like her going up against the Chinese government.”

The Chinese government would not under any circumstances allow the book to appear with that narrative, the editor said.”

Buzzfeed notes that ”Clinton’s book…is critical of the Chinese government. She details its censorship practices and characterizes the country as “full of contradictions” and the ‘epicenter of the antidemocratic movement in Asia.’”

The title’s publisher, Simon & Schuster

“said last week that it regretted that no Chinese publishers had been allowed to translate and distribute the book and said it was also disappointed that the English-language version wasn’t available in the mainland.

“As Secretary Clinton writes in the book, some of the hardest choices facing China today regard protecting human rights and free expression,” the president of the publisher, Jonathan Karp, said in a statement.”

Karp also told Buzzfeed that China’s response to Clinton’s book represented an “effective ban” by the country. Further:

“It’s outrageous and unfortunate,” Karp said. ‘And it’s a pretty clear indication of the low level of intellectual freedom in China right now.’”

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