"For too long the Polish Government has tried to make Lech Walesa a non person and destroy the free trade movement that he helped to create, but no goverment can destroy the hopes that burn in hearts of a people."It was words like these that Lech Walesa and others behind the iron curtain heard, that buoyed them up during the dark times and encouraged them to keep fighting the good fight.( Walesa said as much during a speech when unveiling a statue of Ronald Reagan in Warsaw) The message the Ronald Reagan was trying to convey was, "We in America stand with those seeking freedom and Democracy."
Flash forward to the story of Cheng Guangchen, a blind Chinese dissident who had been imprisoned first and more recently had been under house arrest for four years. He just last week made a daring escape from his house arrest and found temporary refuge in the US embassy in Beijing. Cheng is a self educated lawyer and outspoken critic of China's forced sterilization and abortion policies that are a part of China's totalitarian government mandated one child per family policy. In contrast to Reagan, here are President Obama's words in response to a news reporters question about Cheng.
“We want China to be strong and we want it to be prosperous, and we’re very pleased with all the areas of cooperation that we’ve been able to engage in. But we also believe that that relationship will be that much stronger and China will be that much more prosperous and strong as you see improvements on human rights issues in that country,”No mention of Cheng. There is not even a statement condemning China's deplorable civil rights record. Following this statement, the US embassy turned Cheng over to China's government. The initial report was that this was a welcome and voluntary move by Cheng. I personally heard NBC radio news state that Cheng willfully had left the embassy and was happy to get back to his family. It was also reported that assurances were made about Cheng and his treatment and safety.
However a few hours later, news stories started to surface that Cheng's family had been threatened with recriminations for Cheng's actions, if he did not return home. Cheng was reported to have been taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries sustained during his escape from house arrest.
The only reason that I can think of that explains the Obama administration's lack of support for human rights in China, is that they need China to keep financing America's debt.
The US used to be a defender of liberty against totalitarianism. Now we defend and provide cover to totalitarian governments so that we can continue to borrow money from them. The fact that the US cannot be a defender of human rights against a regime and country that represents all of the ideals that the US opposes, shows that we are certainly a nation in decline.