By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
September 7, 2007
President Bush again showed himself to be soft on China at this week’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Australia.
For good or bad, this American administration is following a conciliatory, pro-business policy line toward China. Some believe this leaves human rights issues at best marginalized and perhaps totally forgotten.
During this week, western newspapers were alive with reports of Chinese government computer hacking — including into private Pentagon files.
President Bush was asked if he intended to discuss China’s hacking with president Hu Jintao of China. The president said, “I may.”
In fact, he did not. The president emerged from the meeting with the Chinese President to say, “He’s an easy man to talk to. I’m very comfortable in my discussions with President Hu.”
This strikes us as reminiscent of the president’s first term reflection on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin: “I looked into Putin’s soul and saw a man I could do business with.”
Since late last year, a Chinese ship-attack submarine surfaced within sight of a U.S. aircraft carrier before being detected for the first time in history, China demonstrated an anti-satellite missile capability the first time in history, China has continued to verbally bully Taiwan, and Human Rights Watch and other advocacy groups have given China their lowest ratings for lawful behavior in the international community.
American allies including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia have expressed concern over China’s military investment and build up. Prime Minister Howard of Australia has called China’s build up “destabilizing.”
China teamed with Russia a few weeks ago to conduct their largest combined military exercises ever. And China, along with Russia, has blocked almost all U.S. initiatives in the U.N., including sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.
China has joined Russia in denouncing U.S. and NATO plans for missile defense in Europe.
U.S. military leaders believe China is supplying arms to the insurgents in Iraq and to Hezbollah in Lebanon, among other places.
China has been complicit in genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
China has failed to meet U.N. environmental goals and China lied repeatedly about poisoned food and other unsafe products it exports around the world.
China has the highest rate of death by execution in the world.
President Bush has looked the other way.
When President Hu invited President Bush to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Bush immediately agree — then said he was only interested in the sports at the Olympics and not the politics. Yet we have historic precedent that leaders like Adolph Hitler worked hard to get the Olympics in their homeland because the political facet of this showcase cannot be discounted.
Washington Times analyst Bill Gertz reported in today’s editions that, “The president repeatedly has called relations with China ‘complex’ but has avoided all criticism of China’s military activities, including the provocative anti-satellite missile test in January, and growing Chinese information warfare capabilities. He has limited criticism of China’s repressive political system to its lack of religious freedom.”
“It’s the Goldman Sachs China policy,” said one defense official, referring to former Goldman Sachs executives Henry M. Paulson Jr., now Treasury secretary, and Joshua B. Bolten, White House chief of staff.
The bottom line: America has put money and deals before human rights.
Bill Gertz, “Inside the Ring”
China sees ‘danger’ in Taiwan’s U.N. intent
China repeats denial of military hacking
China: ‘Trust but verify’ needed
As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes
Permanent President Putin?
Cold War Redux?
Distrustful of China’s Government at Almost Every Turn
If China Has Nothing to Hide, Why Do They Hide So Much So Often?
Japan Worried By North Korea, China
Australia PM: China military rise risks instability