The concern of the US administration for the human rights may hamper George Bush’s visit to China. In any case, the White House has set up a claim that is to be obligatory for realization of the visit. The White House wants Bush’s appearance before the Chinese audience and a joint press-conference with the Chinese leader to go on the air. The Times reports, the US administration has had to resort to such demands on the grounds that last year the interview of State Secretary Colin Powell during his visit to Beijing was televised in a redacted form.
As for intentions of George W.Bush, he plans to touch upon religious freedom in China during the visit. The incident of smuggling of thousands of Bible copies drew special attention of the President. The guilty of the smuggling was sentenced to a two-year imprisonment. George W.Bush thinks, special attention is to be paid to the trial.
Here is the response of the US administration to the scandal of bugging Jiang Zemin’s plane. Theoretically, nothing prevented Washington from saying that the bugs were designed not for espionage, but for lifting of the restrictions on spreading of information. The USA does not like China’s extreme secrecy.
The Bible smuggling is China’s internal affair. But as the accused is an illegal immigrant, he knew perfectly well, what problems may arise because of it. The USA would also be indignant if someone tried to smuggle the Koran on America’s territory. Moreover, the Koran published somewhere with Osama bin Laden’s money. This would make it suspicious as well.
It is an open secret, activity of the religious organizations is controlled by the state in China. The Chinese are to decide themselves, whether it is good or not. In any case, any statements of George W.Bush on the problem would be considered as interference with China’s internal affairs. This would also mean more problems for Christians in China.
It seems to be a “good” tradition for the USA and China to organize such “exchange of favors” on the eve of top-level meetings. But this has no effect on increase of the commercial and economic relations between the two countries. Washington would not profit from quarrelling with Beijing now, because it needs China’s support in the struggle with terrorism. It means, President Bush will not postpone his visit to China, irrespective of the fact whether his interview is to be televised on air or not.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/02/08/36818.html