Accessibility links

China Says It's Unaware of Media Censoring Obama's Speech


Chinese government officials say they are not aware that Chinese media censored portions of President Obama's inaugural speech. Meanwhile, amid reports that President Obama is planning to shut down the American detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Beijing has urged him to repatriate the Chinese nationals held there.

The first question asked at the foreign ministry briefing Thursday was about Chinese media censorship of President Obama's inauguration address.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu denied any government involvement.

Jiang says she is not aware of any censorship. At the same time, she says Chinese media have the right to make their own editorial decisions.

In posting the text of Mr. Obama's speech online, Chinese news outlets, including the official Xinhua News Agency, used a translation that omitted the word "communism" when Mr. Obama referred to how Americans had "faced down fascism and communism."

The Chinese translation also did not include the new president's remarks on free speech.

"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," said Mr. Obama.

When asked for China's response to Mr. Obama's speech, the Chinese spokeswoman says her government believes countries should, in her words, "treat each other equally."

She said Beijing hopes the American leader's foreign policy will be conducive to world stability and development.

On a separate issue, she urged the speedy return of the nearly 20 Chinese nationals being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

Jiang says the Chinese nationals being held at Guantanamo Bay are members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a terrorist organization on the United Nations Security Council sanctions list.

She says their cases would be handled according to Chinese law and that China is against any third country accepting them.

The Chinese nationals at Guantanamo are all Uighurs, a Muslim minority group living in far northwestern China. They were handed over to American authorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2001 and 2002 - apparently by bounty hunters.

The United States resettled five Uighurs from Guantanamo to Albania in 2006. Seventeen other Uighurs being held at Guantanamo are in legal limbo after a U.S. federal court blocked a judge's order in October for their immediate release.

The Uighurs have been found to pose no threat to the United States. American officials have expressed concern for their safety, if they are returned to China.

XS
SM
MD
LG