There's the extreme language difference, although one imagines a majority of these young people have studied English, but the air of Communist repression, if not traditional/cultural, hangs over the proceedings, and is mirrored in the censorship by the Chinese government of his call for an open Internet:
Internet censorship and free speech, but the message was not widely heard in China where his words were blocked online and shown on only one regional television channel.prodded about
China has more than 250 million Internet users and employs some of the world's tightest controls over what they see. The country is often criticized for its so-called "Great Firewall of China" — technology designed to prevent unwanted traffic from entering or leaving a network.
During his town hall meeting in Shanghai on Monday, Obama responded at length to a question about the firewall — remarks that were later played down in the Chinese media and scrubbed from some Chinese Web sites.
“I should be honest, as president of the United States, there are times where I wish information didn’t flow so freely because then I wouldn’t have to listen to people criticizing me all the time,” he said. But, he added, “because in the United States, information is free, and I have a lot of critics in the United States who can say all kinds of things about me, I actually think that that makes our democracy stronger and it makes me a better leader because it forces me to hear opinions that I don’t want to hear.”
Having had a run in with repression on the local government level during the mere three days I spent in China back in the late 1980's, I'm no fan of their gangsterish system. However, as with Iran, I firmly believe that spreading American influence in culture and the practice of free speech is the best way to make change happen.
What Obama said will leak out. Free speech is like that. Even when odious -- and the best response to odious speech is, of course, taking advantage of the very same right to respond.