Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Well stated

This bit of very effective rhetoric came my way today:

"They say you can judge people by the company they keep. The same can be said about countries. So what does it say about China when its foreign minister, Li Zhaoxing, skips the annual ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) ministerial meeting to go visit Myanmar (Burma), at the same time that Chinese President Hu Jintao is welcoming Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe to Beijing with full honors – the same Hu who responded to the carnage in Uzbekistan by inviting its president, Islam Karimov, to Beijing for a 21-gun salute in May, within two weeks of the Andijan massacre. The same China, one might add, that has systematically blocked stronger United Nations Security Council (UNSC) action against the genocidal government in Sudan and prevented the UNSC from discussing North Korea’s flagrant violation of international nuclear and human rights norms. As one surveys the globe’s pariah regimes, it seems the one thing they all have in common is the same best friend: China!"

This is the first paragraph of an essay by Ralph Costa, president of the Pacific Forum CSIS, a Hawaii outfit that does foreign policy research. There's not much to add to what Costa says, because he says it so well. But this is the sort of article I'd like to show to certain Westerners who take a naive, rosy-colored view of China -- the ones who take it as an article of faith that the future runs through the PRC, and that this is probably as it should be, because the Chinese are such peacable, spiritual people who have 5,000 years of wisdom acquisition on their side.

The article came to me via an e-mailed newsletter, and it isn't up on the web yet, but I believe you'll be able to read the whole thing on the group's website eventually.

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