Completely agree. CUP statements on this are very puzzling. They seem to think that a little is better than none. That applies to food, water and money. Not to freedom to publish all academic content of merit.
CUP has no particular commercial need to do this. One can only hypothesize a sticky idea that everybody has to be “in” China.
Even if they had a commercial need to do this, it would be a poor bargain to trade the historic reputation of CUP for academic quality and integrity for a reputation as a cowardly, opportunistic hack press that either doesn’t understand basic issues of free inquiry or hopes its readers won’t. Again, they seem to think a little integrity is better than none. Wrong again.
What CUP has to be “in” is the complete confidence of scholarly communities everywhere –including China. They can remain an outlet for scholarship from China without having their own outlets in China –in fact, it might be the only way to do so. They have chosen the shortest possible path to discreditation. Let’s hope they reconsider and continue to be the real Cambridge University Press.
Pamela Crossley <email@example.com>