China's free pass

China’s free pass
Posted by Damian Lanigan on 31 Jan 2008 at 00:09

Tags: China, Hu Jintao, Gordon Brown, Beijing Olympics, Hu Jia

China’s government is rounding up human rights activists in preparation for the Olympics. Hu Jia is under house arrest for the crime of airing mild criticism of the regime’s priorities. The piece in the International Herald Tribune speaks of the governments attempts to “cleanse” the place of dissent. Beijing in August will be a gigantic Potemkin village, and nobody seems to be bothered. The amount of fawning that western governments have to indulge in with the repressive regime is humiliating at a civilisational level. We may need these people, but don’t need to get out the knee pads any time we’re around them. It was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream for Ken Livingstone when he daubed the South Bank Maoist Red in November 2005 to celebrate Hu Jintao’s state visit. But did the Queen have to dress to match? Gordon Brown spent so much time bent over backwards on his recent trip it was a surprise he could climb the steps to get on the plane home.

Gordon Brown in China

Western leaders shouldn’t allow a veil to be drawn over China’s flaws

At the risk of boring the realpolitik-ers and the Sinophile business leaders here’s a real quick refresher course in governance CPC-style. It’s from the letter Human Rights Watch sent to Brown on the eve of his trip:

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