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China news agency staff suspended over Xi resignation speech error: SCMP

Four editorial staff at the official China News Service have been suspended after a report about President Xi Jinping's speech in Johannesburg, South Africa, mistakenly referred to his resignation, according to the South China Morning Post.

The original version of the story filed Friday by the news service referred to Xi saying in his "resignation" that China and Africa had similiar experiences in their history.

The SCMP said the confusion likely occurred because "resignation" is pronounced and input into computers using "ci zhi" in the Mandarin phonics system used in China, called pinyin; "speech" is "zhi ci" in pinyin.

Some news websites published the agency's report with the error, as per Communist Party guidance that news sites must use official news agency reports when publishing stories about China's leaders, the SCMP added, noting that the blunder came just two days after another official agency misspelled U.S. President Barack Obama's name in a report about a recent meeting with Xi.

To read the full SCMP story, click here.

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