September 11, 2007

Who's the foe, I says Hu

Did anyone notice the differential treatment dished out to President George W. Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao during last weeks APEC meeting by media and local protest groups. Here we had two Presidents, one the leader of the free world and democratic United States, the other an unelected leader of a communist regime. The last sentence alone should be instructive as to the direction this short discourse will take.

By late last week I was both confounded and irritated. Why was the media so exceedingly conciliatory with Hu yet ruthless with Bush? In addition, why do protesters and students continually hark about Bush and in the case of the latter, even stage a walk out but remain in their classrooms for Hu? Indeed why is it Bush, who attracts media derision whilst Hu is warmly welcomed and portrayed as “own man’?

Ladies and Gentleman is it not time we woke up to the China fantasy - the idea that signing trade deals, that is, advancing Capitalism will lead to democratic institutions, free elections, westernized forms of judiciary processes and respect for human rights in China, because the evidence would suggest otherwise.

I say to protesters, before you rush out to create those anti America placards reading ‘foreign troops out’, ‘protect workers rights’ and ‘stop global warming’ perhaps you could consider who the real foe is, for I say it is Hu. The United States actually cut green house gas emissions in 2006, not so China, and there not even talking about it. China is continuing to tighten its grip on occupied Tibet; it supports Mugabe’s crazy regime in Zimbabwe and props up the government of Sudan where genocide is rife. Hu manages hundreds of forced labor camps and not even religion escapes the control with the Communist Party governing the conduct of China's Catholic churches, while other state-controlled bodies keep watch over the country's Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, and Protestants and just recently, it sent cyber-dissident and blogger He Weihua to a mental hospital just for expressing his views on-line.

These Bush bashers do not understand China thanks in part, to both so-called China experts, and many self-proclaimed morally bankrupt scholars, and writers. Notice how quick they react when there is a gathering of Australian and Chinese leaders, they rush to the airwaves and hastily submit op-ed pieces commenting on the extraordinary challenges faced by Chinese leaders in there quest for growth - a popular and romantic view. For too long, critics of China policy have been labelled ignorant and lacking the exclusive understanding of China's "uniqueness". That is nonsense, where are these same China experts when the Chinese arrest dissidents or close down media interests? Fact is, even modestly remunerated academics can increase their income by ignoring such issues and work on the side as paid consultants for corporate interests doing business with the Chinese. The sine qua non is simple: if a specialist questions China, they are denied access, if a specialist praises China, they are provided access. Without access, how can an "expert" be expert?

China is by any measure a one party dictatorship, even after 30 years of economic growth every major dissident is either imprisoned or exiled. How shallow and one-dimensional most nearly all observations are about China. Criticizing it does not constitute "anti-Chinese" racism, nor does it automatically render one a conservative eccentric. Facts should speak for themselves, something our insincere and ill-mannered reporters should consider when next addressing an American president.

This post can also be viewed atthe Reuters site: click here

Your comments are most welcome...


WomanHonorThyself said...

I say to protesters, before you rush out to create those anti America placards reading ‘foreign troops out’, ‘protect workers rights’ and ‘stop global warming’ perhaps you could consider who the real foe is..
Exactly my friend!!..well said!

Goat said...

Otto, one things for sure, we are damn lucky to have such good mates as you Aussies are helping keep an open eye on that part of the world. Glad to have you as a friend of the Barnyard, feel free to key me to good info from Down Under. I am going to make it there one day, it is my #1 destination.

Justin said...

Very insightful! I keep a keen lookout for hypocrisy and double-standards, and you just pointed out a big one. Seems to me to be a form of cowardice as well, picking on a safe target for moral posturing, rather than confronting a dangerous one. Naming the true evil would also involve a level of moral judgment that the Left seems incapable of. Keep up the great work.

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Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

Justin: Thanks, it certainly is one of those classic double standards stories, I value your input.

Button Gwinnett said...

AI, I doubt you and I will agree on a lot of basic fundamantal issues. But we do have some common ground.

I have a great fondness for the Chinese people themselves as well as their history and culture. But I do not trust their political and military leaders. It's good to see so many who are still willing to call them out for their continued abuses of human rights and the environment.

Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

bg: I agree that the Chinese have a magnificent history and culture, something I perhaps should have mentioned in my post. I appreciate your coming by and commenting.