Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Tiananmen…

These days Shanghai may appear to be a cross between New York City and London, but old habits still die hard.

News Channels in the U.S. today carried the story of President Obama’s Inaugural speech being censored in China. The reason? He mentioned communism in China.

I’m sure anybody who visits China these days will be as surprised as I was when I went on a business trip there two years ago. The hustle and bustle in cities such as Shanghai and Beijing would lead you to believe that you were in a capitalist country.

As a matter of fact, I had to keep reminding myself that it was still a communist country. Twenty years after the Tiananmen Square massacre and the only problem I encountered when walking around the infamous square was an over zealous stamp seller.

I did actually experience censorship first hand when watching (or trying to watch) a CNN televised report of an election in Hong Kong. Apparently, some people were protesting, albeit peacefully, but that was enough for the Government to black out the report. It was easy to see what happened as the Chinese television station actually cut back to the report only to find CNN still talking about it, so they blacked it out again!

If you are wondering what security implications this could have for a tourist, just look at the case of the Australian writer, Harry Nicolaides, who recently received a three year jail sentence in Thailand for writing a story about a Royal family member. The really sad thing was that not only was it a work of fiction but he only sold 7 books.

You have to be extremely careful about what you say and who you say it to overseas. Remember, not every country has the same freedom of speech rights that people in this country have.

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