So last week John McCain stood up to China by getting his picture taken with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and this week President Bush stood up to China by inviting some Chinese dissidents to his White House residence for a private meeting with no reporters or photographers present.
Yeah, that’s showin’ ’em.
Two weeks before he goes to the Beijing Olympic Games, President Bush remains unacceptably silent about Chinaâ€™s crackdown on basic human rights. Emboldened by the complicity of Mr. Bush and other leaders, China is harassing or locking up critics, threatening journalists and selectively denying visas. …
…The situation bordered on the absurd last week when Mr. Bush delivered a lengthy address on his â€œfreedom agendaâ€ for the world. He spoke loftily about the need for America to lead the cause of freedom and human rights, but he made only a brief reference to China. His insistence that those who â€œlanguish in tyrannyâ€ are not alone likely was little solace to Hu Jia and other imprisoned Chinese rights activists.
I am not sure of the exact figure, but China is holding something like $1 trillion in U.S. debt, which has gone a long way toward floating Bush’s war and his tax cuts. China owns his ass.
In recent weeks there have been reports in the European and Canadian press that most of the monks in the three biggest monasteries in Lhasa have been rounded up and sent to prisons or detention camps. The majority of these — approximately 1,000 monks — are simply being detained until after the Olympics, China says, but after the Olympics they will be returned to their home villages and not allowed to return to Lhasa. Another 500 or so monks probably have been accused of crimes and imprisoned, or at least they are unaccounted for. Only a handful of monks remain in each monastery. Oddly, one doesn’t hear about any of this from U.S. media.
Update: See also Glenn Greenwald, Those privacy-hating Chinese communist tyrants.