International Human Rights Groups Express Dismay at Clinton’s Softer Stance with Beijing

Galilee Christians, clergy protest Ch. 10 sketch on Mary
February 22, 2009
Moscow’s Draft Plan to Return Property to Religions Creates More Problems than It Solves
February 25, 2009

International Human Rights Groups Express Dismay at Clinton’s Softer Stance with Beijing

Why are we including this story on NFTU? (Perhaps it is too controversial, but we’ll see.) It appears to have nothing to do with True Orthodoxy or ecumenism. However, it is an important milestone in human history: one of the last– some might argue the last– holdout, politically, against Communist power has remained the Republic of China (ROC-Taiwan). While U.S. policy had originally favored the ROC during the Cold War, relations between mainland China and the US thawed in the 70’s.

It is important to remember that under these lenses we can see why the US government supported the Russian Church Abroad until very lately, where the Kremlin had successfully engineered a change in relations between the ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate. The process, as our more educated readers are aware, of changing “hearts and minds” abroad became definitive in the granting of autocephaly to the OCA, which guaranteed that the Japanese Church, much closer to Russia, could be fully monitored through a takeover. After the takeover of the OCA we move on to the ROCOR, who until only a few years ago refused to recognize the Moscow Patriarchate. So the Patriarchate shifted tactics, and successfully, by swarming the ROCOR into basic submission and through the use of key Kremlin agents. In that affair, the US government took virtually no role because, frankly, Russia isn’t as repressive anymore and perhaps the White House perceives the threat of what precisely these churches can do at this point to be fairly minimal.

But we never saw anything like this. Part of the reason the US still shied from relations with mainland China was large-scale human rights abuses against dissidents which still continue today; such is the mark of a repressive regime, no matter what. Capitalism or not, China remains a communist country and a leader in public surveillance, Orwell style. And the tiny state of Chinese Taipei stands against it, although it’s on the verge of being merged once and for all– especially if what is true below is occurring.

At the end, our whole world will be under such a single such repressive regime; of this there can be no doubt.

It is for this reason that today’s article is a historic event: Hillary Clinton, representing the United States, long held as a bastion of freedom throughout the world and still an central player during this global economic meltdown, leaving for Beijing, basically saying that “their joys are our joys and their sorrows are our sorrows.” See emphasis.

(Taiwan News) Chinese dissidents voiced regret yesterday over a perceived softer U.S. stance on Beijing’s human rights record and urged Washington to keep the issue on the agenda, even if only behind closed doors.

Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to focus on global economic woes and climate change during talks here this weekend with Chinese leaders, saying human rights should take a back seat to those vital matters.

But the issue emerged nonetheless, as dissidents reported being harassed or intimidated by Chinese authorities in a bid to stop them speaking out or meeting Clinton during her visit, which ended yesterday.

“Chinese human rights defenders and civil society will suffer even more if the international community does not pay enough attention and (place) enough pressure on China,” said Zeng Jinyan, one of China’s best-known dissidents.

Zeng, who is married to jailed activist Hu Jia, has been confined to her home by police since Clinton’s arrival late Friday, and is one of several dissidents who said the harassment continued yesterday as Clinton headed home.

The whereabouts of several other rights advocates remained unclear, as they could not immediately be reached by telephone.

Clinton said last week that issues like human rights obviously remained U.S. concerns.

But our pressing on those issues can’t interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis,” the new U.S. secretary of state told reporters in Seoul Friday, before leaving for Beijing.

The comment provoked sharp protests from rights groups, with Amnesty International saying it was “shocked and extremely disappointed.”

But dissidents in China said they understood the U.S. stance and expresssed hope that a closer relationship between Washington and Beijing could yield fruit on the rights issue behind closed doors.

“We understand that the U.S. faces difficulties and has its own considerations to take into account in dealing with China,” said dissident writer Jiang Qisheng.

Jiang also has been confined to his home since Friday by police who told him not to try to meet with Clinton. He however said he remained optimistic that the United States would continue to keep some sort of pressure on China in private.

“I suspect that in private, Clinton was more forceful” with Chinese leaders on the issue, he said.

“When speaking in public, she will naturally watch her words to allow Chinese authorities to maintain face.”

Clinton told reporters on Saturday that she had discussed human rights with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, with the two sides basically agreeing to disagree.