Micelle Obama walks the Great Wall of China

Free speech and China, normally two words at opposite ends of the polar cap came into full view this week during first lady Michelle Obama’s first trip to China.

The talk before a small, hand-picked audience of about 200 students at Peking University in northwestern Beijing was basically uneventful until Ms. Obama made her “Oh no, she didn’t” comments about the restrictive lives that most people lead.

“We respect the uniqueness of other cultures and societies, But when it comes to expressing yourself freely and worshiping as you choose and having open access to information, we believe those universal rights, they are universal rights that are the birthright of every person on this planet.”

Great words to live by but not if they’re not heard. In Sunday’s editions the English language China Daily reported extensively on her comments about education while leaving out any reference to free speech or religion.

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