China’s live feed from Dem debate went dark during Xinjiang question

by WorldTribune Staff, December 22, 2019

Earlier this year, Democrats introduced the so-called “For the People Act” which critics say proposed government censorship of political speech which is protected by the First Amendment.

From left, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren at the Dec. 19 Democratic debate. / YouTube

On Dec. 19, Democrats themselves got a taste of what government censorship of political speech looks like when China’s censors cut the live feed of the Democratic Party presidential debate. The feed went dark in China after a question was asked about the communist country’s mass detention of Muslims.

PBS moderator Judy Woodruff asked candidate Pete Buttigieg if the U.S. should boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics over China’s holding of some 2 million Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslims in prison camps in the country’s western region of Xinjiang.

The feed of China’s live broadcast of the debate, which was carried from PBS/Politico, went black just before 9 p.m.

The broadcast remained dark in China for about nine minutes while the Democratic Party candidates were asked about Hong Kong pro-democracy protests and military tensions in the South China Sea.

China’s censors are prepared to at any time cut any segment from the air if it is deemed politically sensitive by the ruling Communist Party. When the censors decide to cut something from the air, the screen goes black and all sound is cut.

The U.S. State Department and human rights groups have reported that up to 2 million Muslim-majority Uyghurs have been detained in re-education centers in Xinjiang province.

Former detainees who have managed to flee the camps report that prisoners are subjected to brutal torture and are forced to give up their religious beliefs and become communists.

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