Sunday, November 15, 2009

China and Pakistan

While reading about Obama's press conference with chinese students, I was reminded of the meeting Clinton held in Pakistan with almost the same format. The difference is that Clinton's Q&A session was broadcast live with no censoring and the students did ask some real tough questions.

On the contrary, Obama's Q&A was not broadcast live in China - worse, it got censored by the government and released later edited by the government run media. The following questions will give a sample of how serious this Q&A has been.
how does Mr. Obama keep fit; who pays for Mrs. Obama’s dresses; does the president like kung pao chicken; is he adept with chopsticks; how much wine can he drink at one sitting; does he allow his children to play games?
There were some questions about weapons to Taiwan and economic issues, but the overwhelming issues seem to be the kind quoted above. I draw the comparison to Pakistan because here is a country that we consider as a dump, its rendezvous with democracy has always been questionable and its arms are twisted for any fight that we need them for. Yet, the people for the most part are free to ask and do whatever they want. But, in China, despite its economic success, censorship and oppression have become the way of life, but we don't dare say anything about it. The philosophy that governed the world for centuries - might is right - still seems to be the natural state of affairs, democracy and freedom of expression have only meaning when the leaders do not heed to our demands.

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