This week saw the inauguration of Barack Obama. We thought that the event was admired by people the whole world over… but not true, he did manage to offend someone – the Chinese government.
References to both ‘communism’ and ‘dissent’ were deleted from Chinese translations of the newly appointed president’s speech. The Chinese government are (sadly) well known for omitting media material they feel would cause difficulties or upset in their country but this is taking it one step too far.
During a televised English report of the speech translated into Chinese the state run Chinese Central Television (CCTV), which is the main television broadcaster in mainland China, cut back suddenly to the studio as Obama mentioned ‘communism’. The shows presenter had to think on her feet as she was not expecting the sudden return to air. She quickly asked her Washington correspondent a random question on the US economy.
Chinese television is not usually live so that they have time to edit what is shown. For example during the Beijing Olympics there was a constant 10 second delay as the government were concerned about free-Tibet activists upsetting proceedings.
We think that it is an outrage that a government can cover up and change what was arguably the most important moment in world history.
The people of China (and in fact all people) should have the right to hear other world leaders’ opinions whether their government agree with them or not.