China seizes book of Clinton photos

The Clinton Years

Chinese officials confiscated 16,000 copies of a new book by former White House photographer Bob McNeely, objecting to a single 1994 image of President Clinton meeting with the Dalai Lama.

The publisher, Callaway Editions, received a letter from the Chinese embassy, saying it is government policy to control the “political content” of printed materials, according to astory by the BBC.

Bill Clinton, Samuel R. Berger, Madeleine K. Albright, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Al Gore, Tipper Gore, The White House Map Room, April 8, 1997 [Photo by Robert McNeely
Bill Clinton, Samuel R. Berger, Madeleine K. Albright, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Al Gore, Tipper Gore, The White House Map Room, April 8, 1997 [Photo by Robert McNeely; Courtesy of The White House; Copyright © Callaway Editions, Inc.]
Foreign governments have been under pressure from China to distance themselves from the exiled spritual leader of Chinese-occupied Tibet.

The offending photograph depicts Clinton and the Dalai Lama talking while seated outside the Oval Office, which the accompanying caption notes.

Copies of The Clinton Years had been sent to China for binding. The publisher has plans to reprint it in Taiwan, which operates under a different legal system, while the Communist officials decide the fate of the impounded books, the BBC reported.

The photograph by McNeely shown above was also the subject of a New York Times feature titled “What They Were Thinking.”

“I was thinking the vice president should re-enact this scene at the convention in 2000,” Clinton said.