Archive

Posts Tagged ‘China’
December 19th, 2013 at 1:28 pm
Baucus Beijing Appointment Shows White House Running Scared in 2014
Posted by Print

Word leaked out yesterday that the White House is planning on nominating veteran Montana Senator Max Baucus (a Democrat) to become the new U.S. Ambassador to China. This continues this Administration’s long pattern of using the ambassadorial post in Beijing to take care of domestic political concerns rather than to strengthen our hand in international affairs.

Recall that Obama’s first appointment to the post was Jon Huntsman, then the Republican Governor of Utah. The Administration’s political hacks crowed at the time that this was a bit of Machiavellian genius, having sent Obama’s foremost potential rival for the 2012 presidential election halfway around the world. There were only two problems with that theory: (1) The Republican primary electorate had no real interest in Huntsman (Team Obama should have realized that anyone they saw as an appealing Republican would be a non-starter in a GOP election) and (2) Huntsman proved this fact by resigning the post a few years in and returning stateside to run against the president anyway. He was then subsequently replaced by Secretary of Commerce (and former Washington Governor) Gary Locke, whose primary qualification seemed to be his Chinese ancestry.

My first reaction to the Baucus appointment was precisely the one that NBC’s First Read highlights this morning:

Ever since Baucus said he wasn’t running for re-election — and after former Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) took a pass on running — Montana has become a clear pick-up opportunity for Republicans, giving them a do-able shot at netting the six seats needed to win back the Senate next year.

But yesterday’s news means that the state’s Democratic governor, Steve Bullock, gets to appoint a replacement for Baucus, and most observers believe the replacement pick will be Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D), who is already running for Baucus’ seat.

Putting someone like Walsh in the Senate would boost his name ID, give him the benefits of incumbency (staff, official duties), and potentially clear the Democratic primary (although it seems like fellow candidate John Bohlinger is someone who isn’t easily persuaded to get out of a race).

At a minimum, Walsh — as an appointed senator — basically moves this race from Lean Republican to Toss Up.

This is a time-honored tradition of political gamesmanship, but one that I’m not sure will be adequate next year. In a normal election cycle, such humble benefits may be a difference-maker. In this one — which Republicans would be wise to make a national referendum on ObamaCare —it may not be enough to get it done. True, Montana often elects Democrats (though it consistently votes Republican in presidential races), but it’s a fundamentally conservative state. If there’s any year they’re going to look at Democrats with a jaundiced eye, it will be 2014. Republicans, of course, still need a viable candidate, but this is going to be tough sledding for the left.

This appointment shows us two things: (1) The Obama Administration is far too careless in making its foreign policy appointments and (2) they’re already scared to death of what the 2014 midterm elections will look like. The first is regrettable. The second may represent some rare interaction between this administration and reality.

December 5th, 2013 at 8:57 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Obama Foreign Policy
Posted by Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

August 20th, 2012 at 3:54 pm
Senate Democrat Questions Obama Foreign Policy of “Vacillation”
Posted by Print

This is notable.

Last week, we noted the unrestrained praise of Paul Ryan by prominent Democrats like Bill Clinton, Erskine Bowles and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden. Conversely, today brings criticism from Democratic Senator James Webb (Virginia) of the Obama Administration response to two years of Chinese aggression:

Over the past two years Japan and China have openly clashed in the Senkaku Islands, east of Taiwan and west of Okinawa, whose administration is internationally recognized to be under Japanese control. Russia and South Korea have reasserted sovereignty claims against Japan in northern waters. China and Vietnam both claim sovereignty over the Paracel Islands. China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia all claim sovereignty over the Spratly Islands, the site of continuing confrontations between China and the Philippines…

For all practical purposes China has unilaterally decided to annex an area that extends eastward from the East Asian mainland as far as the Philippines, and nearly as far south as the Strait of Malacca. China’s new ‘prefecture’ is nearly twice as large as the combined land masses of Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. Its ‘legislators’ will directly report to the central government.”

Senator Webb then criticizes our “muted” response in the face of Chinese expansionism:

In truth, American vacillations have for years emboldened China. U.S. policy with respect to sovereignty issues in Asian-Pacific waters has been that we take no sides, that such matters must be settled peacefully among the parties involved. Smaller, weaker countries have repeatedly called for greater international involvement.  China, meanwhile, has insisted that all such issues be resolved bilaterally, which means either never or only under its own terms. Due to China’s growing power in the region, by taking no position Washington has by default become an enabler of China’s ever more aggressive acts.”

The Obama Administration’s behavior comes as no surprise to conservatives, given Obama’s lifelong inclination to vote “present” in the face of tough choices.  The fact that Democrats so openly criticize him, however, must come as troubling news to the spin machine in Chicago.

May 3rd, 2012 at 12:39 pm
In China, U.S. Abandoning Commitment to Human Rights
Posted by Print

The story of Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese dissident who took safe haven at the U.S. embassy in Beijing last week, should have been a cause for American pride. Chen, who has been an outspoken critic of the forcible sterilizations and abortions that accompany China’s one-child policy has served time in prison and, more recently, house arrest for daring to challenge the communist regime’s barbarism. By providing him refuge, the U.S. was fulfilling its traditional role as a defender of freedom throughout the world. Until yesterday, that is.

On Wednesday, Chen left the American embassy amidst coos of delight from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Here’s how Politico reported Clinton’s reaction:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her support for a deal with China that allowed activist Chen Guangcheng to leave the American embassy in Beijing without fear of arrest.

“I am pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng’s stay and departure from the U.S. embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values,” Clinton said in a statement. “I was glad to have the chance to speak with him today and to congratulate him on being reunited with his wife and children.”

With apologies to the secretary, this hardly looks like a triumph of “his choices and our values.” Here’s the Associated Press report shortly after Chen’s release:

On Wednesday, after six days holed up inside the American embassy, he emerged and was taken to a nearby hospital. U.S. officials said they had extracted from the Chinese government a promise that Chen would reunite with his family and be allowed to start a new life in a university town.

Hours later, however, a shaken Chen told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his hospital room that U.S. officials told him the Chinese authorities would have sent his family back to his home province if he remained inside the embassy. He added that, at one point, the U.S. officials told him his wife would have been beaten to death.

“I think we’d like to rest in a place outside of China,” Chen said, appealing again for help from U.S. officials. “Help my family and me leave safely.”

If this is true, it represents nothing short of a moral stain on the State Department. This should come as no surprise, however. I noted over three years ago at RealClearWorld that this sort of amoral policy stance towards China looked to be a hallmark of the Obama/Clinton foreign policy:

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Beijing in February [2009], she told her Chinese hosts that “Our pressing on [human rights] issues can’t interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis.” Translation: don’t think about standing in front of a tank anytime soon. While America’s economic dependence on China is undeniable given the profligate spending that we have indulged thanks to Beijing’s line of credit, voicing that reality out loud is destined to crush the spirit of the friends of liberty in the Far East. How many Tibetan monks will be able to take inspiration from the Declaration of Independence if they think it truthfully reads “all men are created equal … but some hold hundreds of billions of dollars in American treasury bonds”?

Of course, these days the Dalai Lama visits the White House (when he’s invited at all) through the back door, next to the trash heaps. That’s a not-so-subtle metaphor for what Cheng Guancheng is experiencing at our hands now. All involved from the American side should be ashamed.

April 13th, 2012 at 1:43 pm
How Demographics Affect Defense Spending

The Daily Caller profiles a new book, Population Decline and the Remaking of Great Power Politics, that explains why aging and shrinking populations in China, Japan, and Europe will dramatically alter American foreign policy.

Some of the book’s findings are startling:

  • By the end of this decade India will surpass China as the most populous nation.
  • Japan will lose 1 million people a year by 2060, contracting from 127 million to less than 87 million.
  • Europe’s expensive social welfare model and aging populations will increasingly spur governments to scale back military spending in order to fund burgeoning entitlement program.
  • Even though America’s current rate of replacing itself gives it a demographic advantage, unless serious reforms are instituted to entitlement spending, it too will continue to cut military expenditures to pay for rapidly expanding benefits for the elderly.

India surpassing China means that democracy – not a communist-controlled autocracy – will be the government adopted by the most populous country on Earth.  It may also encourage the United States and India to forge a closer strategic partnership around shared values to check China’s ambitions.

And of course, we’ve already seen how the European model of heavy on services, light on defense is making the region – though not a few individual countries – increasingly irrelevant when it comes to making the world safe.

In his budgets, President Barack Obama has chosen to increase spending on entitlements and gut defense, arguing like a European that multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and NATO can accomplish more than any one nation.

Paul Ryan highlighted this danger in his latest budget proposal, “The Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal.”  In it, he faults President Obama for cutting $500 billion from the Defense Department instead of making the changes needed to entitlements so that Americans can be protected both at home and abroad.

Americans need not accept decline through badly prioritized budgets.  Instead, using innovative entitlement reforms like the ones in Ryan’s Path to Prosperity, we can have sustainable entitlement programs and a robust defense.

We’ve got the people.  Now we need to implement the right policies.

April 2nd, 2012 at 1:19 pm
In Tibet, Shades of Tunisia?
Posted by Print

The Arab Spring has changed shapes so many times in the year since it started — with the most recent development coming in the form of a Muslim Brotherhood bid for the presidency of Egypt — that it’s easy to forget the relatively small act that kicked it off: the self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi, who took his own life in protest of state-sponsored oppression.

There’s at least one place outside of the Middle East where that example hasn’t been forgotten, however: Tibet. From a report in the Washington Post:

More than 33 Tibetans … have set themselves on fire in a recent wave of … acts of resistance against Chinese rule. The self-immolations are a reaction to what many Tibetans see as a systematic attempt to destroy their culture, silence their voices and erase their identity — a Chinese crackdown that has dramatically intensified since protests swept across the region in 2008.

In the spring of 2008, as the Beijing Olympics approached, Tibet was once again engulfed in protests and riots in which hundreds were killed and thousands were arrested. The response has been brutal, human rights groups say.

A program to resettle Tibet’s nomads into apartments or cinder-block houses and fence off their vast grasslands has gathered pace, the replacement of Tibetan by Chinese as a medium of instruction in schools has been expanded, and government control over Tibet’s Buddhist monasteries, the center of religious and cultural life, has been tightened.

The Post‘s report goes on to chronicle other horrors in detail (one Buddhist monk who set himself aflame in 2009 with a picture of the Dalai Lama and a Tibetan flag was shot to death by Chinese police). With that kind of merciless force — and the sheer scope of Chinese power — it is doubtful that Tibet will ever earn its freedom by any means other than Chinese fatigue or outside intervention, neither of which look to be anywhere on the horizon. Against such dire odds, the courage of resistant Tibetans is all the more remarkable — and the necessity of publicizing their plight all the more acute.

October 12th, 2011 at 4:42 pm
Pelosi: Let’s Help American Workers by Cutting Them Off from the Global Economy
Posted by Print

In my column this week, I argued that members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are playing with fire in their attempt to prevent China’s “currency manipulation.” The problem, I contended, is actually much smaller than the damage that could be engendered by the proposed remedy; damage that could include a trade war, driving up prices throughout the American economy.

In the column’s coda, I noted:

The antidote to America’s economic ills won’t come from engaging in trade wars. It will come from reducing the debt and making Chinese credit irrelevant; strengthening incentives for entrepreneurs and job creators, and expanding exactly the kind of international trade that this proposal will derail.

Now comes news that House Minority Leader (the three sweetest words in the English language when appearing before her name) Nancy Pelosi not only wants to shut down trade via the China bill, she also wants to gut  free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea that have already been delayed by nearly half a decade. Per Politico:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took to the floor Wednesday to urge lawmakers to abandon work on three pending free-trade agreements until they take up a bill dealing with China’s manipulation of its currency.

Both the House and Senate are expected to pass the trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea with bipartisan majorities later Wednesday. But the California Democrat, who’s been critical of the pacts, said in a fiery speech that targeting currency manipulation would ultimately benefit more U.S. workers than the free-trade agreements.

At least give the erstwhile speaker credit for consistency. Passing the currency manipulation bill and blocking the free trade agreements would have exactly the same effect: keeping prices artificially high for American businesses and consumers, making it harder to sell American goods overseas, and further delaying meaningful economic recovery. Reviewing that list, it quickly becomes apparent that Nancy Pelosi is a much bigger threat to the state of the American economy than the value of the yuan.

September 19th, 2011 at 8:10 pm
The Chinese Have Their Economic Problems Too

NBC News reports a breath of fresh air for ailing U.S. manufacturing workers: Companies that once outsourced jobs to China are starting to bring some of them back.  Some of the reasons:

Labor costs are soaring by 40 percent a year, as migrant workers are becoming pickier, since there are more job opportunities at home. Also China’s one-child policy means there is no longer such a huge pool of young, dexterous workers. Bank lending is tightening and China’s currency is also appreciating by around 6 percent a year against the U.S. dollar, not quickly enough for US and European policymakers, but sufficient for factories on low margins to feel the pain.

Of course, slapping a new tax on USA-based job creators will stifle any trend towards manufacturing growth China’s growth might enable.

Mr. President, have pity on the working man

August 22nd, 2011 at 9:43 pm
The Moral Superfluousness of Joe Biden
Posted by Print

Vice President Biden was at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, yesterday for an address on U.S.–Chinese relations. Looking over his remarks, one gets to thinking that the Taiwan Strait is nowhere near as dangerous a space as the distance between Biden and a hot microphone.

Biden, remember, is a scholar of everything, prone to confusing the ridiculous with the sublime, and loquacious in inverse correlation to his erudition. So it should come as no surprise that the Vice President felt free to weigh in on the dynamics of Chinese society. The particular angle he chose, however, may surprise. From the remarks:

You have no safety net.  Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family.  The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people.  Not sustainable.

Leave it to Biden, the court jester of an administration that has shown no regard whatsoever for fiscal prudence, to reduce what has been called “the biggest single holocaust in human history” to an accounting problem.

In that conceit, Biden is not so different from the Communist Chinese who created the one-child policy. Their rationale, after all, was to reduce the burden on Chinese society that would stem from population growth. In essence, it is a tyranny of the living over the unborn — an ideal that could not be further removed from the Declaration of Independence’s promise of rights given by God. In China, the most basic right of all — the right to life, which has pride of place in the Declaration’s enumeration — is a function of one’s perceived worth to society.

That, Mr. Vice President, is worth ‘second-guessing’. As for your glib dismissal of the moral stain imposed by China’s macabre exercise in totalitarianism? “Not sustainable.”

June 13th, 2011 at 10:30 pm
Jon Huntsman = State Department’s Candidate for President?
Posted by Print

Conservatives who’ve spent much time in Washington often grow weary of the professional class at the State Department. Though the Foreign Service’s job is to represent the United States abroad, its members often end up doing precisely the opposite. They too often practice the mantra of “blame America first” and view the U.S. as culturally inferior to wherever they’re posted.

That’s galling enough when it comes from workaday public servants, but even worse when it comes from our Ambassador Corps. Now one of those international diplomats is back stateside and about to launch a presidential campaign. But someone needs to tell Jon Huntsman (our recently-returned Ambassador to China) to keep his Embassyitis overseas. This is the lede the Washington Post managed to bury this weekend, placing it near the bottom of a lengthy profile:

On the campaign trail, Huntsman often dwells on how America is viewed from abroad. “From 10,000 miles away, folks, let me just tell you that we lack humanity, we lack civility, we lack basic respect for which this country should be known,” Huntsman told one crowd.

There hasn’t been a campaign in recent history where the notion of American Exceptionalism has been more important on the right. Into that fray rides Jon Huntsman, a man who tells us that the butchers of Tiananmen Square think us insufficiently humane. We’ve got a great consolation prize waiting for you, Jon.

May 18th, 2011 at 5:28 pm
Huntsman Still Denying the Obvious

The Jon Huntsman presidential campaign-in-waiting is starting to strain itself into high comedy.  Today, the Orlando Sentinel reports that a spokesman for Huntsman’s political action committee announced both a location and a director to lead Huntsman’s presidential campaign – if the former governor and ambassador decides to run.

Former Jeb Bush aide Nikki Lowery – and potential Orlando, Florida director – said, “I will be honored to be a part of [Huntsman’s] team if he decides to run.”  Supposedly, the same holds true for Lowery’s last potential presidential campaign employer: Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

The most laughable quote from the Sentinel’s update comes from Huntsman’s wife Mary Kaye who promises:

“Should my husband decide to run I’m so happy that we’ll get to spend time where I have deep roots,” her statement said. “Orlando has always had a special place in my heart and I’m very excited about the prospect of our campaign headquarters being located there.”

Ever since Huntsman’s name appeared in a Newsweek profile revealing speculation about a presidential run, Huntsman and his associates have tried valiantly to spread the tale that a team of campaign veterans just so happened to spontaneously assemble at the exact time Huntsman announced his surprise resignation as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China.  Hardly.

I understand that campaign finance laws and the meager benefits of formally announcing a presidential bid auger against stepping out of the charade and onto the campaign trail, but Huntsman is already making swings through early primary states New Hampshire and South Carolina.

The man is running for president.  It’s time he admits it.

May 4th, 2011 at 11:54 am
Carter Gives Huntsman Praise, Kiss-of-Death

Jon Huntsman has the looks, money, and credentials to be a top-tier Republican presidential candidate – if he can stop getting endorsements from the two most liberal presidents of the last 35 years.

President Barack Obama praised Huntsman for the latter’s “enormous skill, dedication and talent” to the job of being Obama’s ambassador to China the last two-plus years.  In acknowledgement of Huntsman’s rumored presidential campaign, his former boss said, “I’m sure that him having worked so well with me will be a great asset in any Republican primary.”

Jimmy Carter likes what he sees too.  Telling CNN that Huntsman is “very attractive to me personally” and an “attractive” candidate, Carter is giving the former Utah governor’s moderate positions on social issues, immigration, and the environment a very liberal hue.

If this keeps up, Huntsman may be tagged with the worst label for a GOP presidential contender: the kind of Republican Democrats will feel bad about voting against, but will do so anyway.

None of which helps with the GOP base.

After all, being Obama’s former ambassador to China is already a tough sell for conservative voters.  Getting praise from Jimmy Carter may be the kiss-of-death.

April 29th, 2011 at 1:10 pm
It Takes People to Grow an Economy

The Wall Street Journal reports China’s controversial one-child policy will have disastrous effects on the country’s capacity for economic growth, a stunning rebuke to policymakers who argue that predetermining fertility rates is key to eliminating poverty.

Since the one-child-per-couple policy went into effect in 1980, over 400 million births have been prevented, decreasing the amount of poor people and thus the rate of poverty.  (Though since the policy applies to everyone, it has also reduced the amount of children born to middle class and wealthy families; i.e. those most likely to produce entrepreneurs and innovators.)

An informal advocacy group in China is trying to overturn the one-child policy because of a generational imbalance that threatens continued economic growth:

They say China’s elderly population is expanding rapidly as Mao-era baby boomers retire, putting new burdens on society to cover the cost of their retirement. At the same time, China’s labor force is due to start shrinking in 2016, reversing the demographic phenomenon of a widening pool of low-cost labor that powered a manufacturing boom over the past three decades.

It takes people to grow an economy.  If Chinese policymakers continue to eliminate entrepreneurs and workers from the economy, they will soon experience the same chilling effects of the demographic winter settling in over Western Europe and Japan.

March 14th, 2011 at 9:35 pm
Celebrated Historian Says Obama Doesn’t Get History
Posted by Print

Washington is a town where being an intellectual means being relentlessly synchronized with the conventional wisdom, no matter how vapid. That’s how President Obama (no doubt a smart man by any reasonable standard — all presidents are, almost inevitably) has been elevated to the commanding heights of the cognitive elite by the Beltway press corps. Not so fast, says one guy who actually knows what he’s talking about.

In one brief run in a piece in the new edition of Newsweek, famed Harvard historian Niall Ferguson absolutely eviscerates President Obama’s glib reading of revolutionary history:

President Obama is reluctant to intervene in the bloody civil war now underway in Libya. As a senior aide told The New York Times last week, “He keeps reminding us that the best revolutions are completely organic.” I like that notion of organic revolutions—guaranteed no foreign additives, exclusive to Whole Foods. I like it because, like so much about this administration, it is both trendy and ignorant.

Was the American Revolution “completely organic”? Funny, I could have sworn those were French ships off Yorktown. What about Britain’s Glorious Revolution, the one that established parliamentary rule? Strange, I had this crazy idea that William III was a Dutchman.

The reality is that very few revolutions, good or bad, succeed without some foreign assistance. Lenin had German money; Mao had Soviet arms. Revolutions that don’t get some help from outside aren’t so much inorganic as unsuccessful.

President Obama is that cocky student always ready to wow the class with a raised hand and a lithe tongue. Dr. Ferguson is the kid who actually read the material and, after a certain point, just can’t take the prima donna’s hollow showboating. Nice work, Dr. F.

January 20th, 2011 at 10:21 am
Ramirez Cartoon – The U.S. Dollar: Made in China?
Posted by Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 20th, 2011 at 1:47 am
Telling Gaffe of the Week — Harry Reid Edition
Posted by Print

In an interview in Las Vegas, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid let fly with the following gem:

“I’m going to go back to Washington tomorrow and meet with the president of China. He is a dictator. He can do a lot of things through the form of government they have.”

One almost wishes to congratulate Reid for the frankness of “dictator”. That’s obviated by the seeming admiration of “he can do a lot of things”, however.

If Reid is truly sweet on Chinese authoritarianism, he’s in good company on the left. Tom Friedman and James Hansen are already at the party. A group not quite as enthusiastic? The Chinese people.

January 13th, 2011 at 7:41 pm
U.S., Japan Discuss Joint Missile Defense Development

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is finding a much more favorable response from Japan than China about how to get tougher with North Korea.  On the Tokyo leg of Gates’ weeklong Asian tour, the Pentagon chief “discussed the potential export to allies of missile defense capabilities both countries are developing,” according to reporting by Reuters.

CFIF recently profiled missile defense expert Brian Kennedy about the rationale for implementing a broad-based system of missile defense to deter not just a North Korean nuclear strike, but also one from China.  You can read the entire article here.

December 17th, 2010 at 11:53 am
Just the Facts: America Still Leads the World in R&D Spending – By Far
Posted by Print

This week, the Battelle Memorial Institute reported that China will surpass Japan in 2011 as the second-largest spender on research and development, spending $154 billion to Japan’s $144 billion.  An interesting milestone, perhaps, but that should be kept in its proper perspective.  Specifically, that the United States still spends well over twice as much on R&D – over $405 billion in 2011.  That’s significantly more than China and Japan combined.

This isn’t merely esoteric or trivial.  To the contrary, it’s important to keep in mind at a time when naysayers here and around the globe question America’s continuing leadership role, and threaten to undermine American preeminence via regulations such as “Net Neutrality” and other big-government “solutions” in search of imaginary problems.

October 22nd, 2010 at 12:48 pm
New CAGW Ad: In Year 2030, Chinese Laugh at U.S. as Reckless Spending Destroys Our Nation

Check out this new and powerful ad from our friends at Citizens Against Government Waste, which is “a chilling look at one potential future scenario” if the United States continues on its destructive fiscal path.

 

Learn more about this ad and CAGW’s inspiration for doing it here.

October 12th, 2010 at 7:48 pm
The Nobel Peace Prize Committee (Finally) Gets One Right

Recently, the committee conferring the Nobel Peace Prize decided to give the award to someone who actually deserves it: jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.  Excerpts of his writings can be found in Q & A form here.  In the snippet below, Xiaobo explains the importance of continuing to pressure the Chinese regime to free its people from dictatorship:

Does your struggle for democracy in China have any significance for the rest of the world?

To eliminate the negative effects of the sudden rise of dictatorial communist China on world civilization, we must help the world’s largest dictatorship transform into a free and democratic country as soon as possible. In the great cause of global democratization, China is a key link: if China is in the game, then the game is on for everyone.

Therefore, whether to let the CPC dictatorship, which has taken more than one billion people hostage, continue to degrade human civilization, or to rescue the world’s largest hostage population from enslavement, is not only a matter of vital importance for the Chinese people themselves, but also a matter of vital importance for all free nations.

Were China to become a free country, its value to human civilization would be incalculable. It would inevitably follow in the wake of the global collapse of the Soviet Eastern European totalitarian empire to bring about another global avalanche among the remaining dictatorial systems. It would be difficult for dictatorial regimes such as North Korea, Myanmar, Cuba, and Vietnam to continue, and those Middle Eastern countries with firmly entrenched dictatorial systems would also suffer a great blow. ~ The Negative Effects of the Rise of Dictatorship on World Democratization, 2006

Now, think about this plea in light of the Obama Administration’s position that the U.S. considers human rights concerns as secondary to economic cooperation.

Do we?

H/T: MercatorNet