Sunday, 22 April 2012

How to pretend you are "discussing" human rights with a high Chinese visitor

We are told that Chinese premier Wen Jiabao - currently visiting Iceland - has had "in-depth discussions about human rights" with the island state´s president Olafur R. Grimsson:
“I didn’t discuss the matter of Bo Xilai in particular with him as I didn’t want to discuss specific individuals,” Grimsson said in an interview outside his residence at Bessastadir. “We did have in-depth discussions about human rights and the possibility of cooperation between China and Iceland in that field, where China could utilize Iceland’s experience and knowledge in the field of human rights.”
The Chinese leader “expressed interest in building up a dialogue between the two countries on human rights,” Grimsson said. “It’s important to bring about such cooperation, where Icelandic specialists in social rights and the representatives of human rights organizations and other humanitarian organizations can participate in our cooperation with China. The premier said that China would applaud such cooperation with Iceland and with the Icelandic academic society.”
Wen’s bodyguards pushed and blocked a Bloomberg News reporter yesterday when questions related to Bo’s detainment were asked following the meeting with Grimsson.

The Icelandic president here used the same formula as all other Western leaders when meeting China´s leaders:

In order to be able to answer media questions about China´s repression of human rights, pretend that you have had a serious or "in-depth" exchange of views on human rights, and that your Chinese counterpart has shown real interest in the issue. 

This formula is foolproof, because the media will never be able to find out that there was no serious "discussion". 

The usual talk about setting up academic and other "expert" meetings is also part of the smoke screen tactics. These meetings, which always happen behind closed doors, are just another way of pretending to act on human rights.

The real reason for Grimsson´s meeting with Jiabao was, of course, this: 

For Iceland, the visit is a chance to deepen ties with China and speed efforts to emerge from its 2008 economic collapse when its three largest banks defaulted. Iceland is seeking to revive its $13 billion economy by returning to the industries it once relied on including tourism and clean energy.

Read the entire article here

The Chinese - as Wen Jiabao now in Iceland - willingly participate in this role play with masks, fully aware of he fact that the script, involving western beggars, is only a farce. 

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