To mark the 70th anniversary of the speech, the Writers Publishing House, one of China’s most important literary publishers, produced a special book.

The country’s most famous writers were asked to copy out sections of the speech by hand, and the vast majority meekly accepted, including internationally acclaimed authors such as Mo Yan, Han Shaogong and Su Tong, who wrote the Boat to Redemption. Some writers, including Yan Lianke, author of Dream of Ding Village, refused to take part.

The book has caused a stir in literary circles. “Anyone who knows about the history of the party would know the nature of this speech, which targeted intellectuals. The poison of this speech endures,” said Ling Feng, a writer, on his blog…

Xia Shang, another writer, said the writers had “sold their souls”.