Obama talked about America’s views of freedom of speech, religion, and assembly, and the universality of such freedoms. Hu replied that China is willing to engage in dialogue with the US and other countries, but they need to exercise “the principle of noninterference in each other’s internal affairs.”
“Universality” is what gets me. These freedoms are extremely important to us, Americans. It’s what makes this country great, in my opinion. Yet, ours isn’t the standard by which other governments should be measured.
The human rights violations are atrocious. That’s a given. The student protester being run over by a tank in Tiananmen Square is an image that will be burned in my brain forever. Is it our business, though? I would argue no. It’s China’s. If they want to see these human rights violations stopped, they have more than enough people to revolt.
The United States has played the role of the world’s police too long. We should stay out of other countries’ business, like we would want them out of ours. We don’t have the right to tell other countries how to conduct themselves. If we don’t like the way a country is run or how they treat their citizens, we should have as little to do with them as possible.
Sadly, this won’t work with China. We are in this weird codependent relationship with them. With their growing middle class, we want to “sell them stuff,” as Obama said. And as Americans, I don’t see us giving up all the Made in China crap we can get at the local Dollar Tree.
Do I even have to mention how much money we owe them? It was ballsy of Obama to bring it up considering China is like daddy with the fat wallet. Gotta keep him happy so we can keep shopping, right? Ugh. The picture of Uncle Sam should be replaced with an American teenage girl holding a Chinese ATM card.
Maybe this is the bitter pill that we have to take because of our entanglements with other countries. A bottle of Tsingtao makes it easier to swallow. No worries, China says this one’s on them. Gan bei!