There has been a flurry of news in preparation for and response to Obama’s first trip to the Mainland. Because we’re following it across the web so you don’t have to, here’s a round up of the most salient and interesting links, videos and general reactions to the US President in China.
We’ll be updating this list frequently, so click on the jump for more coverage(including a live stream of Obama’s speech), and keep on refreshing!
Photo from Kaiserkuo @ Twitter
Obama arrives: Town halls and hair statues
Video of the day: Obamania
Obama’s town hall in Shanghai questionable
ObaMao to be shelved while Obama’s in town
Obama and China: Hope and expectations
Update 1 12:30 A series of interesting articles surrounding Obama’s trip:
Can Obama Get Around China’s ‘Great Firewall’? [Time]
Obama Visit to China: Analysis too Awful to Ignore [Behind The Curtain]
Twitter Temporarily Allowed During Obama Town Hall Meeting [Michele Travierso]
The Nine Nations of China [Atlantic]
[UPDATED] White House AV Staff on Drugs … AND How to Watch the Obama Town Hall outside of Shanghai [Shanghai Scrap] – Why you shouldn’t leave the microphone on on a live stream broadcast around the world.
Update 2 12:35 Waiting for Obama’s town hall meeting. You can listen to the stream directly from Shanghaiist.com, or go to the White House’s website for live video. (UPDATE: video removed after the stream ended)
Update 3 12:43 More links about Obama and China
Five Things the U.S. Can Learn from China [Time]
Obama’s books best-sellers in China [Xinhua]
Short Takes: More on Obama in China [The China Beat]
Update 4 12:51 Still waiting for the town hall to start, although video quality is good. Links to live blogging of the event:
Live Blogging Obama’s Shanghai Town Hall [WSJ]
Telegraph China @ Twitter
Update 5 13:04 Obama just introduced, making his way to the podium. Related, videos from the BBC
China visit sparks Obama mania
Obama courts China on Asia visit
Update 6 13:08 Ambassador Huntsman’s dual language introduction was good, but totally overwhelmed by Obama’s “Nong Hao”. Around four hundred students are in attendance.
Update 7: 13:16 Obama speaks of ping pong diplomacy, US-Sino relationships, and looked genuinely (but happily) upset that he can’t see a Shanghai Sharks game. We didn’t know he liked bad basketball?
Update 8: 13:20 Obama-“We don’t seek to impose our political ideals on any nation…but…we don’t consider our ideals unique.”
Update 8: 13:25 Town Hall now open to questions. Obama looks much more comfortable with a microphone in his hand. His vow to be “fair” by alternately calling on boys and girls is heartwarming. The first question: will he come to the expo? Obama responds by talking about carbon emissions. He’s not sure whether he’s coming for the expo. Haibao will be sad!
Update 8: 13:35 More talk about carbon emissions. Obama calls on a boy, who quotes Confucius: “It is always good to have a friend from afar”. We’re annoyed at the White House’s overdubbed translation of questions rather than having them in both language. Question on diversity, Obama likens Obama family reunions to the United Nations–we wonder if they have translators there too? Just kidding.
Update 8: 13:42 A question from Taiwan?!? How interesting. Q: Cross straight relations regarding America’s sale of arms to Taiwan. Obama supports improved relationships and a unified China.
Update 9: 13:45 Obama’s Nobel Peace prize is considered a symbol of the shift that America wants to promote around the world. Does China have an equivalent to the saying “You’ve made your own bed, now you have to sleep in it?”
Update 10: 13:52 Irony- Question regarding Twitter and The Great Firewall. Obama doesn’t use Twitter- his thumbs are too clumsy! America’s unrestricted internet access is a source of strength, especially because of criticism–and the fact that the internet undeniably helped him win the election.
By the way, you can follow our live coverage on Shanghaiist’s Twitter page.
Update 11: 13:59 Obama speaks so clearly that the questioner doesn’t need to use his headset, a testament to his speech giving abilities. Apparently there’s no curriculum or course of study that guarentees you a nobel peace prize in the future. Drats! Obama urges students to think for themselves- that’s the best way to success.
Update 12: 14:05 “Is terrorism the greatest threat to the United States today?” is an unsatisfying last question, though admittedly relevant to Chinese netizens’ interests. Obama’s response is cookie cutter in nature: improve schools, agriculture and hope, and Afghanistan will not turn into another Iraq.
Update 13: 14:10 Obama’s town hall meeting just ended, and we would give it mixed reviews. The president ended with the awkward reflection that he was impressed by the student’s English, and that they must have studied very hard. We think that’s an understatement at best.
Update 13: 14:18 So now that that’s over, we’ve heard that the Chinese government censored Obama’s responses on anti-censorship. At least CNN seemed to cut out during their broadcasting of his response. Oh well, we can’t say we’re that surprised.
Finally, here’s some final pieces from the New York Times:
Obama Pushes Rights With Chinese Students
President Obama in China
And a post from James Fallows at the Atlantic:
Obama’s town hall in Shanghai just now