One nation, two translations : China's censorship of Hilary Clinton's memoir

Mei Hung, Red CHAN

Abstract

International politics is a battlefield of language, ideology, and translation. Regional as well as global peace (or conflict) is the direct result of negotiation between different national interests and cultures. In 2003 two Chinese versions of Hillary Clinton’s memoir, Living History were published. The mainland Chinese (PRC) version is said to be a replica of the edition published in Taiwan – it claims authorship by the same group of translators. However, the two versions are different in every aspect – from book title to chapter titles to actual contents, renderings, incidents, etc. This paper discusses how translation serves to create narratives that justify or challenge particular interpretations of meanings or events in Sino-US politics. It provides an empirical study of the industry of publishing and translation in the increasingly powerful PRC today.