In China, there is a long history of the government not revealing information, so it’s difficult for the Chinese people to ever know the truth. It is vital that we try to bring that truth to life. But like most oppressive societies, China doesn’t have an independent judicial system. When a witness is stopped from appearing in court by the police, it means our legal system is like the mafia. And there is no independent press to ask questions.
This week President Obama will make his first visit to China to focus on the global economy and climate change. I’m very supportive of Obama because I believe he represents great hope for America and the world—but it’s inconceivable to me that he would visit China and not put human rights on the agenda. What does it matter if China’s economy grows when there are no basic protections for its citizens? Obama must be clear about the West’s values of freedom and human dignity.
Read CDT’s profile of Ai Weiwei.