CNN coverage of Democratic debate 'goes to black' in Beijing when Hong Kong and Xinjiang were discussed
Anthony Kwan/Getty Images
CNN’s livestream went black in Beijing during the Democratic debate when candidates began talking about protests in Hong Kong and China’s autonomous region of Xinjiang, where millions of Muslims are held in detention centers.
CNN’s international correspondent Will Ripley tweeted out a photo of a television set that had gone dark during the debate.
During the debate, Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden also used the term “concentration camps” to describe the vast network of detention centers.
China is known for its strict censorship and crackdown on any forms of dissent, and has pulled movies and tv broadcasts that remotely reference its human rights abuses.
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CNN’s livestream of the Democratic debate apparently cut “to black” in Beijing when candidates began talking about protests in Hong Kong and China’s autonomous region of Xinjiang, where millions of Muslims are held in detention centers.
Will Ripley, CNN’s international correspondent, tweeted out a photo of a television set that had gone dark during the debate.
“CNN live feed of Democratic presidential debate goes to black in Beijing,” Ripley wrote. “Candidates were asked about China’s human rights record & the mass detention of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.”
Business Insider reached out to Ripley for more information about the apparent outage.
It was notable that the candidates were asked this foreign policy question, and former Vice President Joe Biden and others did not hold back. Biden used the term “concentration camps” to describe the vast network of detention centers in Xinjiang.
Satellite images reviewed by the Washington-based East Turkistan National Awakening Movement earlier this month identified at least 465 detention centers, labor camps, and suspected prisons in Xinjiang. Interviews with people who were held in the camps reveal allegations of beatings and food deprivation, as well as medical experimentation on prisoners.
China has acknowledged the existence of some “reeducation camps” but repeatedly denied any reports of abuse at its facilities.
A recent leak of classified Chinese government documents known as the “China Cables” laid out a manual for exactly how the detention centers were to operate, from preventing escape by double locking all the doors to using a “points system” based on behavior that is linked “directly to rewards, punishments, and family visits.”
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China is known for its strict censorship and crackdown on any forms of dissent, and has pulled movies and television broadcasts that remotely reference its human rights abuses.
On Sunday, the country pulled coverage of the Premier League’s Arsenal match against Manchester City after star Arsenal player Mesut Ozil criticized the country’s treatment of its ethnic Uighur population. According to Business Insider Singapore’s Jessica Lin, Chinese fans on microblogging site Weibo lashed out at Ozil’s posts, with one user saying that they contained “malicious disinformation to provide a cheap excuse for extremism.”
Arsenal quickly distanced themselves from the 31-year-old German-Turkish player, saying that the club “has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics.”
In October, Chinese broadcasters said they would stop airing NBA games after the manager for the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, tweeted out a photo that voiced support for protests in Hong Kong, sparking a major feud in the country.
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