China websites cut Obama's reference to communism

BEIJING Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:12pm EST

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BEIJING Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration speech has a little twist in translations available on some Chinese websites where his references to communism and dissent have been cut.

"Recall that earlier generations faced down communism and fascism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions," Obama said in his 18-minute inauguration address on Tuesday.

"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, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

In the translations available on top Chinese portals Sina, Sohu, the word "communism" is omitted and the paragraph on dissent was gone.

Another widely viewed portal, Netease, cut the paragraph in its entirety, prompting one Canada-based Chinese to post it in English in the comments section, with the remark "Hahaha, communism and fascism".

The paragraph mentioning dissent was included in the Netease version, and was widely praised by Chinese posting comments.

The full speech appeared on the website of Phoenix TV, a Hong Kong-based station that is branding its website as a source for news, and in English on the China Daily state newspaper website.

Communist China has shut more than 200 websites in recent days for "vulgar" content, a move seen by many as another step in its battle to stifle dissent in a year of sensitive anniversaries, including the 20th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. (Editing by Nick Macfie)

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