Getting along with China: a question of priorities – USA Today

This editorial article is from USA Today (link):



When Chinese President Hu Jintao arrives in Washington state Tuesday, he’ll be feted at a banquet at the mansion of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates outside Seattle. But when Hu reaches Washington, D.C., on Thursday for his first White House visit as China’s leader, he’s only getting a lunch, not the fancy dinner that would signal a full state visit.

Though that might seem a quibbling matter, the symbolism is rich because it reflects the deep ambivalence with which the Bush administration views China.

Is China a benign competitor and potential solid ally, as Hu insists, or a more menacing power that in the future could threaten U.S. interests? A host of perplexing issues could break either way:

‚Ä¢ China’s record on human rights and democratic reform is abysmal. Though the Chinese people have greater economic freedom than in the past, the communist government retains tight control. Will China disprove the dictum that capitalism and democracy go hand in hand?

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