08/30/2011, 00.00
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Biden in Beijing, embarrassment and servility

by Wei Jingsheng
The recent visit of U.S. Vice President Biden in Beijing (7-21 August) has done more harm than good. Yet, the White House called it a success. Biden made it clear that, in the States, the perception towards human rights in China is changing and this is a defeat for the world. But the Communist Party should not overdo it, because Americans are still able to give a lot of hard lessons. The analysis of the great Chinese dissident.
Washington (AsiaNews) - Last week we talked about the awkwardness of Sino-US relations. After that, I also discovered the awkwardness of Vice President Biden who is the implementer of this new diplomatic action. He is often criticized by the US media for making mistakes during his speeches and talks. However, I still like Vice President Biden's character, which is the typical character of the Americans: being frank, saying what is in his mind without taking into account the consequences. In other words, he has a disdain to lie.

The Washington Post's editorial board opinion has already raised a very serious criticism towards Vice President Biden's visit to China this time, saying that in order to avoid mistakes, he has rejected interviews from reporters. Yet, in his open lecture at Sichuan University, he still made two serious mistakes. One was to say that he "fully understands" China's coercive family planning policy concerning having only one child; the other was to say that "Maybe the biggest difference in our respective approaches is our approach to what we refer to as human rights," instead of saying that human rights are universal. And, in my observation, he made at least one more error: publicly supporting China's designated successors, interfering in the internal affairs in China.

I agree with the first two items of criticism of Vice President Biden, but do not think that he said the wrong words. He did not express it wrongly, he told the truth. Most Americans treat human rights as basic values in their lives, and do not tolerate human rights violations. Chinese audiences can see this clearly from the well-known American movies: those people who violate human rights, no matter how rich and powerful they might be, are always characterized as evils. In fact, this is a general value to the Americans. So American politicians must pay attention to human rights, otherwise people will put them in the basket of the bad guys.

Vice President Biden might be getting old, and does not intend to run for election, so he might speak more casually to the degree of revealing the truth. This truth is this: as the big American capitalists continue to make excess profits, Americans views have started to be different depending on which social class they are in. Most people, that are the majority of middle class people, still hold the normal view. But, the views of the bureaucratic and the capitalist classes have changed a lot. They have two double standards.

The first double standard for the bureaucratic and capitalist classes is that they treat home and abroad differently. They still, as always, have concern for human rights in the US because they live there. As Chinese say, when the rabbits are killed, the foxes are sad. They would not want themselves to become victims of human rights violations. Therefore, they maintain their normal minds towards human rights in the US. However, they have completely opposite minds regarding human rights in China, where they rely on the favorable conditions of a low human rights standard to make profits. In the view of these people, human rights in China and human rights activists are troublemakers. They would rather to see these human rights activists eradicated, or at least would not support these human rights activists. So indeed, Mr. Biden spoke out exactly what is in their minds: different standards.

Another double standard is that they treat the inside and outside differently. Although the bureaucrats and capitalists think that the Chinese people should not have human rights, what they say is that they are very concerned about Chinese human rights. If one appeals for human rights in China, then, if they could not eliminate him physically, at least they will block one's voice in the media. They will even create some rumors to describe him or her as a troublemaker, so everyone would avoid that person. Reducing the activist's influence is a profit for the capitalist. If a politician supports these activists, the capitalists will not give the politician campaign funds, and, who knows, maybe even raise more serious political persecution. I have seen this kind of countenance for many years now.

In recent years, Vice President Biden and many politicians in the US have become increasingly open to using double standards towards human rights in China. They are increasingly afraid to interfere in China's human rights, even to the point of publicly stating that human rights are not the focus of US-China relations. As soon as the Chinese Communist Party shouts "interference in internal affairs", the U.S. government apologizes in the way of bowing their heads to their toes. It has come to the degree that when the Chinese played anti-American and support North Korean music in the White House, the US President and his aides even pretended that they did not know.

But this time, it is very interesting. It is Americans who openly support the Communist successor who will not take over until next year. This public support is a serious interference in the purely internal affairs of China, but the Americans are not worried nor did the Communist regime in China protest. Both sides have a tacit understanding of each other. This is the awkwardness of Sino-US relations. The US administration makes deals with the evil Communist regime in private behind the back of the American electorate, and betrays the interests of both the Chinese and the U.S. people.

Of course, the White House will explain that it is doing so for the U.S. interests, in an effort to appreciate the Chinese currency so as to increase employment in the United States. But why didn't the Chinese government follow its practice of protesting? Because both sides understand that the appreciation of the Chinese currency requested by the White House is an election show within the boundaries of not damaging the excess profits of big capitalists. Because it is not easy to handle this understanding, there is the need of secret talks face to face without the media knowing.

Obviously, China has been reluctant to interfere in U.S. internal affairs, so as to avoid the wrong bet resulting in a bad ending in the future. More importantly, the Chinese Communist Party has bet well on big capital in the US, so it will be the same regardless of who is elected U.S. president. Unlike the democratic politics in Japan and Taiwan influenced by the United States, the dictatorial politics in China only cares about the influence of large capital in the USA and China, not the influence of public opinion. So China's Vice-President Xi said: You are better not to trouble us, take care of yourself instead. So Vice President Biden's visit started out with respect but met with an arrogant end. His attitude after the meetings was not very friendly; apparently he did not reach the minimum estimated result he wanted at the beginning.

Why did such a high profile and enthusiastic visit have such an abnormal result? Why was his warm face greeted with the cold butt of the Communist Party? Because the politicians on both sides do not understand the habits of thoughts of each other. The bureaucrats in the Obama administration thought that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cares about friendship and would reciprocate the kindness they offered. They thought that by supporting CCP's successor in charge of foreign affairs, they would receive some small help from the CCP in exchange. Little did these bureaucrats know that even within the CCP itself, the term friendship does not exist. Ruthlessness and cold is the traditional thinking of CCP. In the past, the CCP only cared about the Party's interests. Now, it only cares about the interests of the ruling clique. They are away from the Americans by more than six degrees of separation, so from where would this friendship come? Yet, the White House happily announced the establishment of a good working relationship after only one meeting. This kind of statement would make all the Chinese people laugh: are they in kindergarten or preschool?

But, the Communist regime does not understand Americans either. Americans talk about honest trading: when there is a debt, it has to be paid. Since the Americans agreed to support the successor chosen by the CCP, it should not return with "fix yourself, do not bother us" kind of attitude and the promises already made. Obama still has more than one year of Presidency, long enough to teach the CCP a lesson if he wants. As the Chinese say, if you do not drink that cup of alcohol as the way to accept respect, then you still have to drink that cup of alcohol as a punishment. Although Americans are kind, they also could be valiant, not to mention that saving the US economy is in the interest of all Americans regardless their viewpoint. For the CCP to play overbearing will for sure not be worth the effort.

This problem is really the most awkward thing between Vice President Biden of the USA and Vice President Xi Jinping in China.
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