Obama Speech Censored in China

Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Chinese Goddes of Democracy, 1989 (photo: Frank Dai)

The Chinese Communist Party, accustomed to unqualified support from the administration of George W. Bush, was unnerved by parts of Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address and censored it for domestic consumption. When Obama spoke the line, “Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions,” Chinese television quickly and awkwardly cut back to the studio. When the Xinhua news agency printed a Chinese-language translation of the speech, the word “communism” was left out. Xinhua also deleted the sentence “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history.” Writing in Western Australia’s WAtoday, John Garnaut noted, “A deeper, unspoken concern is that China's vast propaganda machine can no longer rely on the White House to diminish the attraction of American ideals of liberty and democracy by its own words and actions.”

Obama Speech Censored in China (by Michael Bristow, BBC News)


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