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August 01, 2005

China: Isolation or Engagement?

I'm a bit of a talk-show geek (from way back). When I do call, I'm often able to record it and use it as part of a blog post. This morning I called "Bill Bennett's Morning in America", where one of the topics was engaging or isolating China.

When I last talked to Bill Bennett on this topic, I said that there were people on both sides of the China debate that I respected, and I had a tough time deciding which way I thought we should go. This morning, Bill talked to Arthur Waldron, VP of the International Assessment & Strategy Center who said, among other things, that the human rights situation in China is as bad as it's ever been. It appears that our policy of engagement there hasn't reaped many benefits, so I said that this is making me lean the other direction; a direction Mr. Bennett is leaning as well.

However, I'm including in this clip the first bit from the next caller, who does make a good point that things may be shifting in China. My question would be, "but are they moving as fast as they could be?"

Click here to listen. [This recording from Bill Bennett's Morning in America (WGKA, Atlanta, GA on 8/1/2005 8:37am EST (733K).]

Posted by Doug at August 1, 2005 10:24 AM

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As long as the Walmarts and other big corporations do business with China -- and this, to be sure, will gain momentum -- U.S. foreign policy will follow suit, so your question is perhaps academic. Look at how big business has shaped U.S. policy (both the Clinton and Bush '43 Administrations) vis-a-vis illegal immigration and porous borders.

Posted by: Bernard Higgins at August 1, 2005 02:07 PM

How interesting, I heard you on my way to get my oil change this moring. I have actually decided to dedicate 90% of my blog to China. I think engagement is the only way to go. Remember, we are fighting incredible inertia here and I think change will happen but happen slowely, sort of like turning a large ship.

What scares me even more than what is going on inside of China is the fact that we are learning that China is sending out spies and operatives into foreign countries like the USA and Australia to kill religious dissidents, such as Falun Gong members.

Posted by: Justin at August 1, 2005 02:18 PM

Bernard: I think you're right, that if we get too economically entangled in China, then realize it's not working, getting out will be extremely difficult. Bennett's observation that "it's easier to make an investment than a profit in China" might ease that, however. At least, I hope so.

Justin: Thanks for the ride! :) I think, however, that we can still shine the light of truth on China without validating, as it were, their economic system by massive participation in it. Blogs will be a part of that.

Posted by: Doug Payton at August 1, 2005 02:58 PM

Isn't it amazing that the blogs have been relatively quiet about Bill Frist's endorsement of embryonic stem-cell research?


Posted by: Matt Feliksa at August 3, 2005 01:21 AM

You mean like my post from last Friday or Jim's post from yesterday? You even commented on Jim's post, so I don't really understand your contention.

Posted by: Doug Payton at August 3, 2005 09:06 AM