Southern Weekend Interviews President Obama (Updated)

As mentioned in our previous post, President Obama sat down for an interview with Southern Weekend. Malcolm Moore at the Telegraph has translated the brief interview. As Moore points out, “Since just about everything that Mr Obama said while he was in China was censored out of the domestic media, the print readership of this interview represents the widest audience of ordinary Chinese that the president is likely to reach”:

Southern Weekend: In Tokyo and Shanghai you mentioned twice that the US will not seek to contain China’s rise. How will this policy take effect?

Obama: We have repeated in the current discussions with China that its stability and prosperity is in accordance with US national interests. A prosperous China can help ensure a prosperous and stable Asia. It is just like the stability of South Korea and Japan are beneficial to world peace and US commercial development. The only one thing that can stop this positive outcome is a mutual misunderstanding and misjudgement. This is why we need to not only conduct dialogue on the economics, but also on the security. The more that the US and China trust each other, the smaller the chance of a misunderstanding.

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Update: Copies of the paper delivered to some addresses in Beijing did not include the Obama interview. The New York Times reports:

Yet, as they did throughout the president’s visit, the government authorities appeared to monitor carefully how his words were transmitted to China’s public. They were especially vigilant about Southern Weekly’s report, by some accounts, because Mr. Obama had turned down an interview request from CCTV, the state-run television network.

Southern Weekly’s publication was held up late into the night, said one of its journalists, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution.

The page that contained the interview was missing from the edition delivered to Western news outlets in Beijing.

The weekly’s Web site did not display the interview with any prominence, and primary Internet portals were ordered to ignore it, Chinese journalists said. “It is not like whatever Obama says is news,” said Yu Wei, a top editor of Sohu.com.

See also reports from the Christian Science Monitor and Wall Street Journal blog, and a post from Danwei about the interview.