Sunday, February 22, 2009

The HopeChange Chronicles: Clinton to Beijing: "Hey, Human Rights Aren't A Priority."

Secretary of State Clinton's wrapping up her Asian tour.  So!  In the new era of HopeChange, did anything interesting happen?

Well, sure: she told Beijing that human rights in China aren't a priority.  Human rights groups such as Amnesty International are aghast, as they should be.  Here's a quotation:
"The United States is one of the only countries that can meaningfully stand up to China on human rights issues," said T. Kumar, the organization's advocacy director for Asia and the Pacific. "But by commenting that human rights will not interfere with other priorities, Secretary Clinton damages future U.S. initiatives to protect those rights in China."

The same news piece quotes Clinton herself:
"Now, that doesn't mean that questions of Taiwan, Tibet, human rights, the whole range of challenges that we often engage on with the Chinese, are not part of the agenda. But we pretty much know what they are going to say.

We have to continue to press them but our pressing on those issues can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crises. We have to have a dialog that leads to an understanding and cooperation on each of those."

What kind of rubbish is THAT?  "We pretty much know what they are going to say"???   We know what China's going to say about human rights and freedom issues, so we therefore don't push them?  So human rights" can't interfere" with other issues?  Hey, who cares about actual political prisoners rotting in Chinese prisons, Beijing's iron fist in Tibet, and its saber rattling toward democratic Taiwan when we have to worry about global warming?  Priorities, man.



UPDATE 1:  More here.  (Xie-xie, La Parisienne!)

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