30
Jan
09

Human Rights and our Partner in Trade – China

We as a developed nation must recognize, along with adhere to the absolute enforcement of international treaties and agreements and above all only engage in business practices with countries subscribing to UN recognized policies regarding the issue of Human Rights in all countries.

China is one of our strongest “trading” partners and will become stronger in the coming years, but it is my feeling during these unforeseen and unfortunate economic times this is a good time for us as Americans to recalibrate our relationship of trade with China and demand a stronger adherence to the human rights issues, which we dismiss so easily.

China, as noted in my blog here, doesn’t seem to mind letting its intentions known as far as becoming a stronger more active player in the world’s economic scheme of conferences and policies.  Also, they don’t seem to concerned amount manipulating its currency, again as noted in a blog posted here.

Furthermore, we as a country have to careful being extremely astute in these economic times since we depend on China as one of our biggest creditor’s as authored here.

We have clearly seen the outcomes of nations and regions that have not recognized the basic needs of human rights; in the continent Africa, the countries of Burma, Sri Lanka, East Timor and more.  These aforementioned have suffered the pains of civil wars, unstable governments, oppression and genocide.

A video produced by The Center for American Progress and available on YouTube presents a panel discussion of leading notables and academics discussing the Human Rights issues in China and how America implement new guidelines for trade involvement with the most populous nation in the world.

The US & China: The Human Rights Issue

The relationship between the United States and China may well be the most important bilateral relationship in the world. In recognition of that fact, the Center for American Progress is releasing a new report entitled, “Strategic Persistence: How the United States Can Help Improve Human Rights in China.” The report provides both fundamental principles that should guide U.S. policymakers in their efforts to effect positive change in China’s human rights practices and concrete recommendations to advance those efforts.

China remains responsible for profound violations of its people’s civil and political rights. In its foreign policy, China has often backed repressive regimes around the world and watered down international sanctions against these regimes. None of this is in the United States’ best interests. Given the high degree of economic interdependence between the United States and China, as well as China’s growing military reach, American interests are best served by a stable China with a robust commitment to the rule of law—conditions that are undermined by a failure to respect human rights.

U.S. approaches to human rights in China have ranged from confrontation to passivity and have rarely reflected a coordinated strategy across government entities. The key to U.S. efforts to promote human rights in China is to take a coherent, pragmatic, non-ideological approach that goes beyond easy rhetoric, takes advantage of strategic openings, and recognizes the value of persistence. Ultimately, China must be persuaded that greater democracy and human rights are in its own best interests and are integral to its becoming the highly respected global leader it aspires to be.

Distinguished Speakers:

  • Harry Harding, Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University
  • Louisa Coan Greve, Program Director for East Asia at the National Endowment for Democracy
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