Yanhuang Chunqiu (Chinese: 炎黄春秋; pinyin: Yánhuáng Chūnqiū), sometimes translated as China Through the Ages, was a monthly journal in the People's Republic of China commonly identified as liberal and reformist, due to its ability to publish on highly sensitive political topics. It was started in 1991; operations ceased in 2016.
China's media regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television declared 37 recent news items in breach of political guidelines.
A year earlier, in July 2015, founding publisher Du Daozheng, had taken up the role of editor-in-chief, when Yang Jisheng (杨继绳) was forced to resign. In connection with his resignation, Yang published two letters: the first explained the reasons for his resignation to the members of Yanhuang Chunqiu and its readers; the second was sent to the General Administration of Press and Publication and criticized intensified government restrictions on topics the journal was permitted to cover.
In July 2010, Yanhuang Chunqiu published a memoir by retired Politburo member Yang Rudai praising Zhao Ziyang. It marked a rare break of the long-standing taboo in China against mentioning the former leader since he was ousted after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
In January 2013, Yanhuang Chunqiu's website was temporarily shutdown by the Chinese government after it published an editorial urging the implementation of constitutional rights.
Closure of publication
Long considered influential among liberals and reformists, in July 2016, the entire editorial team resigned following the sacking of long-time publisher Du Daozheng and demotion of chief editor Xu Qingquan, by order of the Chinese National Academy of Arts, amid intensifying pressure from the authorities to soften its editorial stance. The magazine had been founded in 1991 by reform-minded party veterans, including the efforts of General Xiao Ke, and had a circulation of around 200,000.
The July 2016 restrictions led the magazine’s editorial staff to announce that the magazine could no longer be published, as the academy had unilaterally abandoned an agreement allowing its publication within defined bounds, violating freedom of publication. They further revealed that academy staff had seized control of the Yanhuang Chunqiu website by physical force at the magazine's offices. Nevertheless it appeared that publication would continue, under staff from the academy including Jia Leilei, its former vice-president.
- Lucy Hornby (19 July 2016). "Liberal Chinese magazine folds in defiance of Beijing controls". Financial Times. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- Editors Announce 'End' of Top Chinese Political Magazine After Staff Reshuffle, Radio Free Asia, 18 July 2016
- Verna Yu (16 July 2015). "Chinese censor pushes liberal magazine to brink of closure, says former chief editor". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- "杨继绳：离开《炎黄春秋》总编岗位的两封公开信". Boxun. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
- "Chinese magazine breaks Zhao taboo". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
- "Yanhuang Chunqiu website closed down after editorial on constitution". Retrieved 21 July 2016.
- BBC News - Southern Weekly reporters confront
- 萧克将军与《炎黄春秋》，《人民日报海外版). 11 November 2001
- Outspoken liberal Chinese magazine Yanhuang Chunqiu stops publication after management purge, SCMP, 18 July 2016
- "Ouster of liberal Chinese magazine publisher marks the end of an era". The China Post. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- Kiki Zhao (19 July 2016). "Liberal Chinese Journal's Purged Editors Declare Publication Dissolved". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 21 July 2016.