BBC BLOGS - James Reynolds' China
« Previous | Main | Next »

The wrong side of history

Post categories:

James Reynolds | 08:24 UK time, Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Bad news for President Obama. The one country which may decide America's future prosperity was largely asleep when he took the oath of office. The framers of the US Constitution didn't have a peak time Chinese TV audience in mind when they drew up the presidential inauguration time (12 noon Washington DC time is 1am China time).

Chinese girl in front of Obama portraitThat means that most people in China only got their first look at Mr Obama's inaugural address when they woke up on Wednesday morning. That's where it gets interesting. We've found that some Chinese state media outlets have left out some important passages of the president's address.

Even those who stayed up late at night would have noticed something odd. Have a look at the moment that Chinese state TV cut back to the presenter when Mr Obama referred to communism.

This is one of the passages that hasn't made it into the Chinese translations of the address: "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"

This passage is strikingly similar to something said by one of Mr Obama's predecessors: "When it comes to human rights and religious freedom, China remains on the wrong side of history" (President Bill Clinton, June 1998).

"The wrong side of history" - apparently not a phrase the Chinese authorities like to hear.


or register to comment.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.