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The People's Daily, People's Republic of China

Clinton's 'Insults' Violate China's Human Rights


Did Hillary Clinton forget her diplomatic manners when remarking about China's abysmal record on political rights, 'They're worried, and they are trying to stop history, which is a fool's errand. They cannot do it. But they're going to hold it off as long as possible'? According to this column by Li Hongmei of China's state-controlled People's Daily, Clinton's comment was an insult that itself is an abuse of human rights.


By Li Hongmei



May 27, 2011


People's Republic of China - The People's Daily - Original Article (Chinese)

Just as the third round of the annual Sino-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue came to a close, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sharpened her tone in an interview with The Atlantic magazine when talking of China's human rights. "They're worried, and they are trying to stop history, which is a fool's errand. They cannot do it. But they're going to hold it off as long as possible."


The world's two largest economies wrapped up the wide-ranging meetings held on May 9-10, with the United States pressing China to let its currency appreciate further and with Beijing seeking an easing of U.S. controls on hi-tech exports [aka/dual use items that can be used in weaponry].


Clinton defended the U.S. policy of seeking to cooperate with China on a range of global issues, saying: "We live in a real world." It was this same Clinton who told Beijing in early 2009 on her maiden trip to China as top diplomat, when the superpower was bogged down in the quagmire of financial crisis that she pled for China's continued purchase of U.S. government bonds. At the time, she said, "We are truly going to rise or fall together. We are in the same boat and, thankfully, we are rowing in the same direction."


She may have thought the vessel of Sino-U.S. cooperation has already passed through the shoals and eddies of crisis and back into calm seas. Mrs. Clinton thereby feels capable of again turning the cannon of human rights on China.


But even if the U.S. considers human rights its life-long passion and handiest cudgel for dealing with countries like China, that are walking steadily and briskly but on a different development path as the U.S. and with different values and ideologies, it should respect the truth that China has been committed to human rights and has made remarkable progress in that regard since the People's Republic of China was established in 1949. And furthermore, no country - including the United States - has a perfect human rights record. In some respects, it's only natural for China and the United States to see human rights differently. But they should address these differences on the basis of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in one other's internal affairs.


Understandably, the U.S. always finds fault with China, considering the core of America's global strategy is to prevent other powers from rising to a level that makes them capable of challenging its otherwise overwhelming superiority. Now that China has grown to be the world's No. 2 economy, the U.S. naturally keeps a vigilant eye, fearing China will one day overtake it.


This also explains why some American politicians tend to hype "the China Threat," as a tactic to win votes and allies. In stoking fears toward China, Uncle Sam looks more like a protective umbrella to its smaller allies, and in sowing suspicion of China at home, U.S. officials win the right to "act on the public will" to wage a rhetorical war against China, satisfying the needs of certain interests groups to invested in containing China's growth.



In actuality, through more than three decades since the two nations established diplomatic ties, the U.S. has always put classified China as a "Frenemy," - a friend when in need, an enemy when conflict occurs.   



The double-faced tactics of American politicians are well illustrated by Clinton's undignified comments on China's human rights record. In an online poll conducted by the People's Forum, 79 percent of respondents believed that her remarks had badly violated "diplomatic etiquette."


Next time, when Mrs. Clinton can't resist blurting out her discontent, it would be advisable for her to give consideration to the feelings of China's people. The right to speak should be respected as a human right, but as a self-proclaimed "human rights defender," America's top diplomat should never trample on the human rights of others by forcing them to listen to insults.


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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US July 5, 9:33pm]


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