Human Rights in China: The Whole Sad Story: Respect for Basic Human Rights Will Be a Bellwether for Continued Economic Development and Peaceful Foreign Policy, Writes Jacqueline A. Newmyer. the Outlook Appears Bleak
Newmyer, Jacqueline A., The American (Washington, DC)
"ULTIMATELY, CHINA WILL need to embrace some form of a more open and representative government if it is to fully achieve the political and economic benefits to which its people aspire," Donald Rumsfeld, then the secretary of defense, intoned in 2005. That line might just as easily have come from Nancy Pelosi, Lou Dobbs, or Gary Bauer. Washington Times and New York Times editorial writers alike urge the White House to protest Chinas curtailment of press freedoms. The rise of the People's Republic of China (PRC) has made strange bedfellows.
All of the critics are on to something: Evolution in Chinese respect for human rights will be a bellwether for continued economic development and peaceful foreign policy. It's true that, even without further liberalization, China could remain a source of cheap labor and even a market for Western retailers for years to come. And, so long as the domestic situation stays stable, an authoritarian China need be no more aggressive abroad than Singapore.
But the PRC's economy will not generate innovations that leave the world trailing enviously if the Chinese education system continues to make a priority of indoctrination and to reward loyalty over all else. Curiosity and ingenuity--which may pose a threat to the regime--are critical for cultivating minds capable of flaming new questions and solving them. Today's elites in the Communist Party of China (CPC) remember the role of student agitators in the Tiananmen demonstrations, and Chinese schools grade students on ideological purity and expect them to defer to authority figures. But Chinese officials have also proclaimed innovation to be a national priority, inviting prominent scientists, industry leaders, and management scholars from all over the world to lead seminars on generating new technologies and business processes.
One theme of these foreign visitors is the need for robust intellectual property protection to provide an incentive for …
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Publication information: Article title: Human Rights in China: The Whole Sad Story: Respect for Basic Human Rights Will Be a Bellwether for Continued Economic Development and Peaceful Foreign Policy, Writes Jacqueline A. Newmyer. the Outlook Appears Bleak. Contributors: Newmyer, Jacqueline A. - Author. Magazine title: The American (Washington, DC). Volume: 1. Issue: 7 Publication date: November-December 2007. Page number: 106+. © 2007 The American, a Magazine of Ideas The American, a Magazine of Ideas. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
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