Beijing’s aggressive new censorship policies reached the West on August 18, when Cambridge University Press acknowledged that it had bowed to a request from the Chinese government and deleted off its Chinese website 315 articles from the China Quarterly, a distinguished academic journal that Cambridge publishes. The regime’s purpose in this demand was not to irritate the West but to narrow the intellectual horizons of people inside China. Still, an immediate and loud protest from Western academics turned the issue into something of an East-West confrontation (and eventually led Cambridge University Press to reverse its decision). In its response, Beijing continued with its new bluntness. The Global Times, which hews reliably to the Party line, wrote:
It’s no big deal if a few barely-read China Quarterly articles cannot be found on China’s Internet. The real issue is that the fundamental principles of the two sides are in conflict, and the question is: Whose principles are a better fit for today’s world? This is not a matter of “each to his or her own”; it is a contest of strength. In the end time will tell who’s right and who’s wrong.