Hong Kong: The publisher of former
Chinese premier Li Peng`s purported diary said on Tuesday that it
was moral rather than legal concerns that drove him to halt
the release of the highly anticipated book.
Bao Pu, head of Hong Kong-based New Century Press,
said he decided to stop the printing of "The Tiananmen Diary
of Li Peng" on June 18 after he was approached a number of
times by people whom he refused to identify.
Excerpts of the book shed rare light on the decisions
leading up to the crackdown on student-led protests on
Tiananmen Square on the night of June 3-4, 1989, which saw
hundreds, if not thousands killed.
Bao said "all kinds of players arrived to the scene"
after the South China Morning Post found and published
excerpts of the book on June 4. Since then, the purported
diary has also found its way onto the Internet.
"There is a copyright issue, but that`s not exactly a
legal issue. There is a moral aspect to it," he told a small
seminar today, when asked to explain why the publication was
The event was originally arranged to mark the launch
of the book.
"In defending the public interest, I will take the
risk to be blamed as the bad person who steals somebody`s
diary and publish it without consent," he said.
"But there is no such thing as public interest
anymore. All kinds of reviews have been written (on the
Internet versions), why would I even risk that kind of
accusation of publishing things without the author`s consent?"