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The Rosett Report

Misreading China: The Harm of Ignoring Human Rights

March 17th, 2014 - 6:35 pm

On Wednesday First Lady Michelle Obama heads to China, reportedly on a mission to charm the Chinese government. She will be traveling without the president, but with her two daughters and her mother.

As Reuters describes it:

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to steer clear of controversial issues such as human rights when she visits China this week but her trip could help advance a top item on her husband’s foreign policy agenda: deepening Washington’s ties with Beijing.

The article goes on to cite someone who worked as an aide to former First Lady Laura Bush, praising the prospects of this ethics-lite excursion, noting that it will be good optics, and play well in China, to have Michelle Obama meet with China’s first lady, drop by schools, take the kids to visit the Terra Cotta warriors, and so forth. The message is that by declining to rock the boat, Michelle will be honoring her motto of “do no harm.”

While the intentions here may be good, this is a terrible misreading of China, of international politics and of America’s vital place in the world. China is one of the world’s worst violators of human rights, and its government holds sway over more than 1.3 billion people — more than one-sixth of humanity. For just one of the latest cases in the news, see the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial on “Death in Chinese Custody,” about a human rights advocate, Cao Shunli, who last September tried to fly to a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. She never made it out of the Beijing airport. She was arrested, she was denied medical treatment as her health failed, and she died in custody. For more information on the system that killed her, reports are so legion that it’s hard to know where to begin — but one place would be the State Department’s latest country report on human rights practices in China, which talks about the coercion, repression, censorship, enforced disappearances, torture, coerced confessions, discrimination and more.

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All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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for all those that think that this is a breach of etiquette, how could you possibly think that when B.O. tells us he is so good at foreign relations because he grew up in Indonesia.

For those that don't get it, sorry for the attempt at satire, and this is a vacation for moochelle and a sign of weakness.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
wow another vacation for moochelle, with the kiddies, on our dime, doing nothing to help, and as the article mentions, showing a weakness that allows her and children to visit.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hope they only feed her non-healthy foods.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Michelle's Charm Offensive? Oh, the withering irony. Sounds like it's vacation time again. Hubby's in it up to his neck again, so it's time to get out of town. I wonder if she'll be taking an entourage of thousands. She'll certainly feel at home in the land of Tz'u Hsi.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Again, bad political judgement from the White House. To send a bunch of rather uneducated women to the still patriarchial China, well not serious. It may lead to the usual muddle in the media that happens when celebrities arrive but it may be seen as a breach of etiquette. However, it may not improve much with Barry added to the bunch.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is a breach of etiquette to send Michelle by herself?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Matriarchal societies have failed throughout history. The prime example in modern day is the USA.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Matriarchal societies tend to be tribal societies that are not seriously jostled by other tribes.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would argue with you but America has moved from Leave it to Beaver nuclear family to The Life of Julia, where single women bravely support their broods with government $$.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's obvious what has happened here. Moochelle thinks that "China" is something you eat from, as in "Don't put the good China in the dishwasher Barry - you know nothing community organizer."

She, her Mom and the girls think they are going shopping for table ware. As Moochelle was saying only last week, why else would the friggin' country be named after cups and saucers?

What could possibly go wrong?

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
An old book but relevant. One thing not only are most Asians racist but they are proud of it and most also regard women ......
http://www.amazon.com/The-Asian-Mind-Game-Westerners/dp/0892563524
It is often said that Russia's mind set is more Asian than Western.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yep. We judge the Chinese by our standards at our peril. They do NOT think like we do.

They want war with the U.S. On their own timetable and conditions, to be sure, but they DO want war. Or, more precisely, they want VICTORY.

They WILL kill tens of millions to assuage their pride. No, it's not about money. It's not even really about power.

It's all about pride.

Few Westerners can wrap their brains around that.

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
How should she actually bring human rights into the equation? Name some people who are in prison and ask to meet with them? I'm asking for specifics because this administration might need to hear specifics to have a clue what to do.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
This administration does not do bad things because it lacks a clue.

It does bad things because it is bad.



31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
A nice excursion for the three that helps prep the girls for future political careers.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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