BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Entertainment: Arts
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 24 May, 2001, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Upset at Tintin's 'Chinese Tibet'
Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel
Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel at this week's launch
The Belgian publishers of the comic strip hero Tintin have objected to the politically correct renaming of one of the books in China.

There will be quite a firm reaction by us so that the next edition is corrected

Jacques Simon, Casterman
The first legal editions of Tintin's adventures were unveiled in China this week - decades after pirate copies first appeared.

But Tintin in Tibet has become Tintin in Chinese Tibet, to reflect Beijing's claim that Tibet is part of China.

The chairman of Casterman, Jacques Simon, said he had been taken by surprise the change in title.

Tintin and Snowy
Tintin: Back in the spotlight
"I think there will be quite a firm reaction by us so that the next edition is corrected," he told Belgian radio.

The Chinese publishers - China Children Publishing House - have also decided not to market Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, deeming it anti-communist.

Casterman's Willy Fadeur told the UK's The Guardian newspaper: "We have asked our partners to rectify the album, not for political reasons, but simply to defend the authenticity of the original and they have agreed."

New names

The cartoon hero will be known as Dingding in Chinese. Thomson and Thompson have become Dubang and Dubang and Tintin's dog Snowy is Baixue.

Chinese schoolgirl Wu Dan said she thought the boy reporter's young journalist's adventures in Tibet seemed so real.

"He is in Tibet, so he must be Chinese. If he's not Chinese then he must really understand Chinese people and like them very much. But I think he must be Chinese," the 14-year-old told Reuters.

Georges Remi
Tintin creator Hergé, real name Georges Remi
Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel and the Chinese Minister of Culture Sun Jiazheng launched the comic books in Beijing this week.

"Tintin is Belgium's most famous ambassador in the entire world," Michel said, adding that General de Gaulle himself considered Tintin his only real competitor.

Pirate editions

Pirated copies of Tintin books, printed in rough black and white, have been in circulation in China since the 1980s and have become collectors items.

The new editions are more closely modelled on the originals, using similar layout and style.

Tintin did go to China in The Blue Lotus, in 1936.

In that book, he battled with Japanese-funded opium smugglers, aided by a young Chinese called Chang.

Tintin and Snowy made their first appearance in 1929 as a comic strip in Belgian newspaper Le Petit Vingtieme.

Hergé - whose real name was Georges Remi - launched Tintin into scores of adventures over the next 20 years.

See also:

14 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Lewd Tintin shocks Belgium
04 Feb 99 | Entertainment
Tintin on trial
29 Nov 98 | Europe
Crazy for Tintin
10 Jan 99 | Entertainment
Tintin's 70 years of adventure
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Arts stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Arts stories