Chinese president: Hey, we’re all about human rights

posted at 6:08 pm on January 19, 2011 by Allahpundit

The key part comes at 2:30 but make sure to watch from the beginning or else you’ll miss Hu being called out by Bloomberg’s reporter for pathetically refusing to answer a question on human rights earlier in the press conference. Hu’s explanation: The earlier question was lost in translation, an excuse so feeble that even Obama can’t contain a smirk at its lameness.

As I write this, guests are arriving at the White House for tonight’s state dinner. Jay Nordlinger wonders how it came to this:

China, to remind you, is a country with a gulag (laogai). The Chinese government is a regime that imprisons and tortures some of the most admirable people in all the world: the human-rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, for one. What he has endured is unimaginable, not to mention unendurable, by most people. The 2010 Nobel peace laureate, Liu Xiaobo, sits in prison, while his wife is under house arrest…

The demands of “realpolitik” do not include a “lavish state banquet,” to borrow the AP’s words. George W. Bush did not bow to the Chinese Communists in this way. (Remember, Obama has literally bowed to the Chinese.) He gave them a lunch. Sino-American relations proceeded normally in his eight years.

Let me get a little corny on you: America is a nation that’s supposed to stand for something — for freedom, and human dignity, above all. We’re not supposed to be like every other nation. We’re supposed to be exceptional. Different. A beacon unto man.

I’m not a babe in the woods, and I understand the necessity of getting along in a wicked world. But we don’t have to abase ourselves as we are doing now. We should not be honoring the PRC boss. We should be honoring, and standing with, the men and women in the camps and the cells. Are we America? (Does this sort of talk make you gag?) What is America? What are we supposed to celebrate on the Fourth of July? Is it just an excuse for fireworks and a picnic?

Obama addressed the human rights question too and gave the politic answer — cultural differences, different stages of development, still we’re concerned, yadda yadda — rather than the honest answer, which is that their position has strengthened and ours has weakened to the point where we can’t afford to press the regime on the fact that they’re cretins. (For a more honest version of today’s encounter, see the second clip below.) Which may be so, but of course doesn’t answer Nordlinger’s objection to showering them with the pomp and circumstance of a state dinner — the theme of which, if you can believe it, is “quintessentially American.” Exit question: Will an empty chair be left for Liu Xiaobo on this quintessentially American occasion? Based on what Tapper’s been tweeting today, I assume not.


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Exit question: Will an empty chair be left for Liu Xiaobo on this quintessentially American occasion?

No courage.

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Hu?

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Obama told him to say whatever he wants. No one ever checks on it.

NeoKong on January 19, 2011 at 6:14 PM

“I love freedom. I love democracy.” – President Palpatine.

Skywise on January 19, 2011 at 6:14 PM

If, like the communist leaders of China, one thinks of the Chinese peasantry as sub-human, it all makes perfect sense.

ROCnPhilly on January 19, 2011 at 6:16 PM

This meetings all about courting Hu so that American Corporations can do business with China.

They are still a Communist nation who would bury us if they had the opportunity.

kingsjester on January 19, 2011 at 6:17 PM

BTW, The Repeal of Obamacare has passed the House, 245-189.

INC on January 19, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Obama addressed the human rights question too and gave the politic answer — cultural differences, different stages of development, still we’re concerned, yadda yadda

Obama probably believes the “cultural” answer. That we and China are equally “exceptional”.

Paul-Cincy on January 19, 2011 at 6:22 PM

The NMA video said it all.

the_nile on January 19, 2011 at 6:23 PM

This meetings all about courting Hu so that American Corporations can do business with China.

Is that a bad thing? If the US economy is going to grow jobs, demand for our products will likely come from BRIC nations.

It’s too late to start talking about “playing tough” with China. We gave up that right when the US decided to give it nearly unlimited access to our markets, surrendered a large part of its manufacturing base, and proceeded to become completely dependent upon its willingness to prop up our economy and massive deficits.

Whining about it now is kind of sad, actually. Let’s not pretend that the US has any choice but to play nice with China, and if we don’t like it, actually plan to do something to lessen our trade imbalances and fix other parts of the relationship that mandate a very cordial relationship.

bayam on January 19, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Chinese president: Hey, we’re all about human rights

President Hu: You need organs? Heart? Liver? Kidneys? Lungs? Yeah. We got them.

Open cell door #21542 This prisoner right here is very healthy……

portlandon on January 19, 2011 at 6:26 PM

kingsjester on January 19, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Naturally, the language with China is always appeasement and cooperation, with no real answers to the tough questions. Just because China has a private sector doesn’t mean that their deeds have magically become less despotic.

Having foreign, private sector investment won’t cover up China’s despotic deeds or make them any better. It only shows that there are fellow travellers in the world of business, willing to cozy up to China in exchange for an easily controlled labor pool.

Is there anyone who is willing to strike fear into China at the presidential level? Appeasement towards & cooperation with China hasn’t worked for the US at all – it’s made our situation worse.

sethstorm on January 19, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Can’t imagine President Palin kow-towing to our enemies like this president. 2012 cannot come soon enough.

milemarker2020 on January 19, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Tom Friedman will explain to us the wonderful trade off between torture and murder and achieving government induced happiness through collective order.

RadClown on January 19, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Obama grasshoppah is learning all he can about being a dictator, from Hu.

capejasmine on January 19, 2011 at 6:32 PM

BTW, The Repeal of Obamacare has passed the House, 245-189.

INC on January 19, 2011 at 6:18 PM

YAHOO!

cmsinaz on January 19, 2011 at 6:34 PM

“George W. Bush did not bow to the Chinese Communists in this way…”

That just made all warm and fuzzy inside…

Seven Percent Solution on January 19, 2011 at 6:39 PM

It’s no surprise that a dictator wannabe would throw a lavish state dinner for someone who has already achieved that pinnacle of leadership. Or pay mere lip service to such a concept of “human rights”, knowing full well that he, like Hu, prefers instead the concept of “government rights.”

If only he, Obama, could incarcerate or eliminate his political adversaries, or “enemies”, in the facile manner of Hu, would the world be right. ✪

TXUS on January 19, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Crouching tiger, Hidden Barry.

Hu loves ya, baby.

profitsbeard on January 19, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Totally. Because when I think of human rights, I think of China.

Democrats are loony tunes for kissing this guy’s butt and completely blowing off England.

Jewels on January 19, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Yes. And Obama’s all about American Exceptionalism, is extremely masculine and a true warrior and he is also a skilled deficit hawk.

/And I am Miss Universe

Key West Reader on January 19, 2011 at 6:46 PM

What’s all this talk about China not respecting Human Rights…?

… It’s not like they would chop up political prison and parade their bodies all over the world.

Oh, wait…!

Seven Percent Solution on January 19, 2011 at 6:49 PM

It is a shame that we don’t treat Hu like any other common despot. That’s all China’s government is, and the last 30 years haven’t changed how they treat people in their country.

sethstorm on January 19, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Hu’s yo Daddy?

TXUS on January 19, 2011 at 6:50 PM

…and no, today is not how you treat a common despot like those from Hu’s country.

sethstorm on January 19, 2011 at 6:50 PM

The One lovingly stuffing the faces of human rights abusing Chinese officials makes me want to run into the banquet hall and flip all of their plates onto their fancy little laps.

And let’s not forget that WE are footing the bill for this shindig.

EarthToZoey on January 19, 2011 at 6:59 PM

As dictated by the state, the very opposite of the founding of this country.

I don’t think we should be going in opposite directions towards each other, China should be moving in a direction to become parallel with our principles of freedom.

Maybe we can steal some of their hi tech.

Speakup on January 19, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Crouching tiger, Hidden Barry.

Hu loves ya, baby.

profitsbeard on January 19, 2011 at 6:42 PM

+1

cmsinaz on January 19, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Still waiting for the “lavish state dinner” for Netanyahu, Cameron, Dalai Lama…

itsnotaboutme on January 19, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Maybe we can steal some of their hi tech.

Speakup on January 19, 2011 at 7:03 PM

First, there must be something of value to steal in China.

sethstorm on January 19, 2011 at 7:10 PM

China:Human Rights::crr6:integrity

Inanemergencydial on January 19, 2011 at 7:43 PM

♫♪ Hu are you ?
Hu, Hu, Hu, Hu ?,
I don’t really wanna know. ♪♫

viking01 on January 19, 2011 at 7:50 PM

have another piece of pie Hu
-dear leader

cmsinaz on January 19, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Exit question: Will an empty chair be left for Liu Xiaobo on this quintessentially American occasion?

No, but there’ll be an empty suit next to Hu at the head table.

bgoldman on January 19, 2011 at 8:23 PM

bgoldman on January 19, 2011 at 8:23 PM

An empty suit next to a tinpot dictator.

sethstorm on January 19, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Yah know, in 2013, there will be a need for a community organizer who speaks Mandarin. I’ll buy the Rosetta Stone!

Amendment X on January 20, 2011 at 4:00 AM

If by “right” he means “wrong”.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on January 20, 2011 at 4:16 AM

The crazy ads on CNN and it website “Experience China” creep me out. Kinda reminds me of the Onion except it’s not a joke.

The Expert Knows

HAExpert on January 20, 2011 at 3:30 PM