Monday, November 28, 2005

NY Times Editorial on Foreign Policy, etc.

Kudos to Peter for establishing this site. I'm curious about the links--is fox news included just to illustrate that this is a "fair and balanced" blog? ;-)

As an avid China-watcher, I found the following NY Times editorial echoing my personal sentiments toward US foreign policy regarding China.

November 23, 2005
China Snubs Democracy

Almost everywhere President Bush went in Asia last week, he proclaimed America's support for democracy and human rights in China. And almost every time he did so, Chinese leaders either ignored him or changed the subject. Beijing even dispensed with the symbolic gestures that often accompany American presidential visits. None of the human rights cases Mr. Bush personally raised with China's president, Hu Jintao, earlier this year have yet been resolved. Christians who tried to worship alongside Mr. Bush were turned away or detained. Prominent democracy advocates were confined to their homes for the duration of Mr. Bush's stay.

Despite the lack of results, we applaud Mr. Bush for raising these sensitive but crucially important issues. Democracy and human rights are universal, not merely American, values. Beijing's stonewalling on democracy is more than a diplomatic snub of Mr. Bush; it is an insult to China's own people. One thing still reliably Communist about the Chinese Communist Party is its Stalinist repression of all political dissent.

Still, the ritualistic American preaching of democracy to China's increasingly confident leaders has become less likely than ever to directly produce any useful effects. Washington's international reputation has been battered by its invasion and botched occupation of Iraq, while China's has been steadily rising on the basis of its phenomenal economic advance. Beijing's leaders are in no mood to listen to lectures from an American government that depends on Chinese surpluses and savings to finance its supersized budget deficits.

The best way for America to advance democracy in China, as elsewhere, is by setting a positive and consistent example, at home and abroad. That is not something that the Bush administration has yet learned how to do, even after having made democracy the rhetorical centerpiece of its second-term foreign policy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Democrats rule.