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China Cut 9 Minutes of Democratic Debate

Screens went dark when questions about Beijing came up
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2019 9:28 AM CST
Democratic presidential candidates from left, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and businessman Tom Steyer vie to answer questions during a Democratic presidential primary debate...   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

(Newser) – Viewers in China were able to watch the Democratic debate Thursday night—all but nine minutes of it. CNN reports that Beijing censors cut the live feed about 9pm just as moderator Judy Woodruff started asking questions about China. Correspondent Will Ripley tweeted this image of what things looked like during the blackout. The censoring began when Woodruff asked Pete Buttigieg about alleged mass detentions in China of Uighur Muslims. As it turns out, China's sensors were correct in anticipating criticism from the candidates, and Bloomberg has details.

Joe Biden, for instance, said Uighurs were being held in "concentration camps" and suggested sanctions. "We have to make it clear: This is as far as you go China," said Biden. Buttigieg referenced the protests in Hong Kong in his criticism. "If they perpetrate a repeat of anything like Tiananmen Square, when it comes to Hong Kong, they will be isolated from the free world, and we will lead that isolation diplomatically and economically," he said, adding that a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing should be on the table. Andrew Yang noted he had family in Hong Kong and faulted China for banning face masks, which interfere with facial-recognition technology. (Read more Democratic debate stories.)

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