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.
President Bush has looked the other way.
China has no freedom of the press, no freedom of expresson, the Chinese internet is censored, there is no freedom of religion in China, forced abortions occur in China to keep tjhe population down and there is widespread use of child laborers and slaves in China.