Just to think, that these guys are the fastest growing economy and power in the world. Forget about loss of freedoms here! :!: http://www.theage.com.au/news/news/hide-the-guide-warns-lonely-planet/2007/11/15/1194766854001.html Chinese take-away: guidebooks Following border confiscations, Lonely Planet warns travellers to disguise their books. Chris Vedelago reports. Travellers heading to Beijing for the Olympic Games may want to reconsider taking a guidebook. The Chinese Government has banned Lonely Planet's popular China Travel Guide over what it deems controversial content. After repeated reports of confiscations from travellers, China's ministry of foreign affairs confirmed that the guide was banned last year because of a map that depicts the People's Republic of China and Taiwan as separate countries. A spokesman said the book has some errors concerning the Taiwan issue, such as marking the Chinese mainland and Chinese Taiwan in different colours (on the map). These practices breach Chinese law. The political status of Taiwan is a hotly contested international issue, with China viewing it as a renegade province, denying that the island has any sovereignty and advocating reunification with the mainland. Lonely Planet general manager Tony McKimmie said the company was unaware of the ban although it had received about 30 reports of confiscations in the past 18 months. "There has been noise around it for several years but we've never had anything officially from the Chinese Government," McKimmie said. The confiscations, mostly reported at remote land borders, led Lonely Planet to post a warning on its website and suggest travellers disguise the book or make a copy of important details. Muddying the issue is the fact that the China guidebook is often available but not displayed in government-run bookshops, with buyers having to request the title and sometimes even present a passport. "You get an understanding from that behaviour that there are issues around the book," McKimmie said. The government spokesman could not confirm whether the ban applied to other guidebooks with similar maps although no confiscations or bans have been reported to Frommer's, Rough Guides or DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. Nor has any travel guide been banned for its treatment of other controversial issues such as the Tiananmen Square massacre, Cultural Revolution, Tibet or persistent human rights abuses, with the Chinese Government so far more concerned with maps than the written word. Publishers deny they would ever change the content of their guidebooks, regardless of whether the ban is continued or extended. "We would maintain absolute editorial integrity; we wouldn't change any content," McKimmie said. Michael Spring, the US vice-president of Frommer's, said: "All Frommer's has to offer the public is the credibility of its information and we never have, and never will, compromise that credibility for any special interest."