US, Chinese authors protest major book fair, censorship

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Chinese and American authors are protesting a major U.S. book fair's focus on China that they say ignores the country's problems of censorship and intimidation.

Jonathan Franzen, Xiaolu Guo (show-LOO' gwoh), Andrew Solomon, Ha Jin (HAH' jihn) and others gathered Wednesday outside the main New York Public Library to demand China free Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo (lee-OO' show-BOH') and professor Ilham Tohti (IHL'-hahm TOH'-tee) from prison and allow free speech.

Organizer PEN American Center says this week's BookExpo America features a Chinese delegation hand-picked by the government.

A Chinese Embassy spokesman says the government protects citizens' right to publish but those exercising that right must abide by Chinese law.

The BookExpo says it's important for China to be allowed to engage in cultural and commercial exchange.