Yes, they are not some randomly selected students. Yes, they are heavily screened. Yes, there are reports they went through days (4 days?) of “training” to make sure they don’t do or say the “wrong” things”.
But as long as these students were not drugged, their ears are not plugged, and they understand English, then they had a chance to listen to Obama unfiltered. Not many Chinese can listen to the speech live. And not many Chinese could listen to the full speech.
Obama is not always right but he bought up a few interesting points for the Chinese students to think about. I watched Obama’s session (that same day from the Whitehouse website) and I think he delivered a reasonably good speech and a nice Q&A (note the online question re Chinese firewall selected by the US press).
錢鋼老師寫”最大的輸家”. As I argued above, may be that is a rather pessimistic view of things.
Of courses, if all of the “students” were actually undercover Chinese police on the job pretending to be “students”, then may be that session would have be a total waste of time. :)
Wow, this is looooong. I need to repost this in my blog. :)
From Apple Daily, Nov 17, 2009, “美總統訪華 奧巴馬促中國 尊重普世價值”