President Obama has met with five China human rights advocates as part of his preparation for the meeting with Chinese president Hu Jintao in Washington this week. According to American officials, human rights will be on the agenda - which is a good thing:
Obama will speak about human rights in his public appearance with Hu and also bring up the issue during their private meetings, the Post reported, citing one administration official who attended Thursday's meeting with the human rights advocates.
"The meeting was very pluralistic; many different opinions were shared," one of the administration officials told the Post. "But the consensus was that human rights has to be on the agenda even if it is awkward. And it makes a difference when it is."
Read the entire story here.
However, human rights will probably not be very high on the agenda, if one is to believe this writer:
So, while the idealist will call for America to flex its moral muscle, the pragmatists will win out as today China shares the American aim of global stability, eradication of terrorists, nuclear nonproliferation; and most of all, a growing world economy.
These issues have united China and the U.S. and will trump all else.
Further, when you are $14 trillion in debt, it is not wise to insult your banker (China holds over $900 billion in U.S. debt).
These are the shifting realities of the 21st century.
I certainly hope that the "pragmatists" will not "win out" in the way the article describes. In spite of its current economic difficulties, the US must continue to be a moral leader in a world where values seem to mean less and less. Obama should not bow too deeply to his Chinese counterpart!