Obama in China: Speaks To Students at Town Hall Meeting

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Categories: Barack Obama, Bolitics, News

obama china

We know that the Chinese are super strict with online web space, and President Obama had a few tips for students in Shanghai, regarding that among other things:

President Barack Obama gave China a pointed, unexpected nudge to stop censoring the Internet access of its own people, offering an animated defense of the tool that helped him win the White House – and telling his tightly controlled hosts not to be wary of a little criticism.

“I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes, because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable,” Obama said Monday in a town hall with students during his first-ever trip to China. “They can begin to think for themselves.” Just hours ahead of talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Obama tried to find a political balance, couching his admonitions with words of cooperation, praise and American humility. He said few global challenges can be solved unless the world’s only superpower and its rising competitor work together, and he insisted: “We do not seek to contain China’s rise.” But in his opening statement and in answers to the wide-ranging discussion with university students, Obama spoke bluntly about the benefits of individual freedoms in a place known for limiting them.

“We do not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation,” Obama said. Then he added that freedom of expression and worship, unfettered access to information and unrestricted political participation are not principles held by the United States; instead, he called them “universal rights.”

Videos of the meeting below:

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