Bookstore pulls book which "glorifies" foreign invasion of China

Local | 17 Oct 2021 1:26 pm

A Hong Kong bookstore has removed a Chinese book about a foreign invasion of China following complaints that it distorts history.

The book, whose title translates to “Eight-nation alliance is a righteous army,” talks about the invasion of Beijing by an alliance formed by the British Empire, United States, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Italy and Japan from 1900 to 1901.

In 1900, some 20,000 troops under the alliance invaded Beijing, claiming that they were to suppress the “Boxer” rebels – a group which killed foreigners while claiming they had magical powers against bullets.

The invasion resulted in the "Boxer Protocol" that the eight nations signed with the Qing Dynasty, which led to the execution of ten officials who were linked to the Boxer uprising and huge war reparations for China.

The book found in Eslite Bookstore was written by the Beijing-born author Liu Qikun, who lived in Hong Kong and emigrated to Canada in the 80s. It is from a Taiwanese publisher.

It claims the eight-nation alliance is a righteous army and helped suppress a humanitarian crisis.

Liu claimed that if the foreign army failed to defeat Qing Dynasty, China would be left isolated from the West and the country would have killed all foreigners. Reforms to westernize China would be in vain.

“The success of eight-nation army stopped China from regression," he said.

Citizens complained to lawmaker Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan, saying the book distorts history and glorifies foreign invasion.

“I have received more than 100 complaints. Some sent me the book cover and content, saying they are angry that such a book can be sold in Hong Kong,” she said.

The book was reported to national security police, she said.

As for whether the book would have violated the national security law, Quat said it would depend on why it was published – whether it aimed to incite hatred against China and if foreign funding was involved.

“It is not up to our interpretation. I believe authorities will investigate,” she said.

Following the complaints, the book has been removed from shelves.

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