Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Democracy for China: Vice President Dick Cheney spoke live and uncensored on Chinese Television -- for those who were lucky enough to be channel-surfing and catch it. There was no notice of the speech on television or the newspapers before the speech actually occurred.
But the broadcast received no advance promotion or even a listing in the Chinese news media and was not repeated. The authorities promptly provided leading Web sites with a "full text" of the vice president's remarks, including his answers to questions after the speech, that struck out references to political freedom, Taiwan, North Korea and other issues that propaganda officials considered sensitive.
This is no surprise, and luckily Chinese wishing to see the uncensored remarks can find them on the U.S. embassy's Web site.
What's hilarious (in a sad way) is the lame Chinese government excuse for the censorship.
An editor at the People's Daily Web site involved with preparing the transcript denied that any censorship had occurred. The editor, who declined to be identified, said missing sentences or sections were attributable solely to the speed with which the transcript had been prepared.
Yeah, "freedom" is so tough to write in Chinese.