“The interruption, which cut the debate signal to display colour bars for nearly three minutes, affected only a small number of people in China with access to channels like CNN, which is available in some hotels and residential compounds but not in most homes,” Globe and Mail Asia correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe wrote.
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“The censorship offered a vivid example of Beijing’s willingness to excise information it cannot control, even when it involves potentially important insights into relations with the country’s largest trading partner,” VanderKlippe continued. “Censors in China have always paid acute attention to domestic events, allowing a robust exchange of opinions on many social and cultural topics, but moving quickly to block criticism of the country’s leaders, discussion of historical events like the Tiananmen Square massacre or any conversation that could involve organizing resistance to the government.”
CNN International did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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According to VanderKlippe, the message appeared on screen after moderator Susan Page asked Pence if China is a competitor, adversary or enemy on the heels of President Trump declaring the nation would “pay a big price” for its role in the coronavirus pandemic.
“The video feed returned after Kamala Harris, the Democratic candidate, was asked a similar question. She attacked Mr. Trump’s pandemic response and enumerated some of the costs to U.S. workers from his trade battles with China. She also described Mr. Trump as less popular overseas than China’s President Xi Jinping, whose name she badly mispronounced,” VanderKlippe wrote.