China Websites Cut Obama’s Reference to Communism (Video Added)

From Reuters, via thestar.com:

U.S. President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech has a little twist in translations available on some Chinese websites where his references to communism and dissent have been cut.

“Recall that earlier generations faced down communism and fascism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions,” Obama said in his 18-minute inauguration address on Tuesday.

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, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

In the translations available on top Chinese portals Sina, Sohu, the word “communism” is omitted and the paragraph on dissent was gone.

Also from Danwei.org:

CCTV-News aired Barack Obama’s inaugural address live until he spoke about how “earlier generations faced down fascism and communism,” at which point the anchor scrambled to ask an analyst about US economic problems. Web portals followed suit. Via Hoiking and Milk Pig.

Also from AFP:

The interruptions to the live broadcast and carefully edited translations indicate China’s propaganda officials were monitoring the speech, said Xiao Qiang, director of the China Internet Project at the University of California.

The omissions weren’t necessarily due to concerns about ideological differences, but rather how ordinary Chinese might respond to Obama’s words, Xiao said.

“Propaganda filtering is one thing, but there are certain concepts, phrases or lines that ring true among the Chinese people and that is what the Chinese propaganda people really want to filter out,” he said.

January 20, 2009 8:21 PM
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