WASHINGTON (AFP) – A CNN correspondent said Monday she was detained by Chinese security guards in Shanghai for two hours for displaying a T-shirt on camera depicting US President Barack Obama as Mao Zedong.
Emily Chang, a Beijing-based correspondent for the US television network, said in a blog post on CNN.com that she hunted down the shirt after hearing they had been banned amid fears they "may offend the American president."
The shirt shows Obama, who is making his first visit to China as president, in a Red Army uniform staring into the distance in a pose made famous by the former Chinese leader.
The front of the shirt says "Serve the People" in Chinese, Chang said. "Oba-Mao" is written on the back in English.
Chang said she held the shirt up to the camera while filming a story in a Shanghai market.
"Two security guards happened to pass by at the moment I announced to the camera: 'This is the T-shirt everybody is talking about,'" she said.
"And that was it. They scrambled towards us and tried to pry the shirt out of my hands," Chang said. "I didn't give in.
"There was a bit of yelling and quite a scuffle," she said, adding that CNN "had everything on tape."
"We ended up being detained for two hours in the cold, maze of a market," she said. "A crowd gathered round. More security and then police showed up.
"They wanted our press cards, our passports, but most of all, they wanted the shirt," she said. "Finally, they let us go. Phew!"
Chang refused to surrender the offending shirt and joked that a number of jealous White House and CNN colleagues had tried to "bribe" her for it.
Now that Anita Dunn’s going away present has been taken care of, click on over to B-Daddy’s who is wondering just how wacky things have become when the Chi-coms are scolding Americans over the handling of our alleged capitalist economy.