The issue for us, come to light courtesy of Mr Chen’s visit to the US embassy, is not as one would suppose one of Chinese government policies and abuses. That really is for Mr Chen and the Chinese. But the issue for us as Americans is rather: who are we and what are our priorities? For if Mrs Clinton accurately represented America in China last week, our priorities are first and foremost to keep up strong economic ties with China. Second, and closely related to the first, we hope to do our best to balance not making the Chinese government look bad. Third, and this again closely related to the first two, involves ensuring that any Chinese government policy or approach is explained in the best possible light. We do have another priority I think: and that is trying to reflect to the world how much we value freedom in it many facets. But that clearly must be considered last in this list and if needed suppressed in the light of the others.
Of course one should not be surprised at this: the relationship between the US and China is strained due to the manifestly different philosophies guiding the governments of the two countries. One emphasizing freedom, the other control. The more that the two countries are connected, the more they influence the other in these areas. Unfortunately for those who value freedom, the actions of the two governments last week and their dealings suggest a suppression of freedom. The rapidity with which a deal was made and a “problem” solved suggests perhaps there is not quite as much strain as there should be.
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