Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What America Needs to Know About China - 1, Human Rights

When it comes to American perception of America's world standing, an attitude adjustment of major proportion is indicated. For years, Americans believed that they are not only the most humane people in the world but are the only ones that know and uphold the human rights standards for others to aspire.

The recent and ongoing response of the Chinese government and Chinese people to the Sichuan earthquake presents a clear challenge to the notion that only a democracy cares about the suffering of fellow human brings. Both the government and the people reacted spontaneously with compassion, with generosity, with courage and with concern for the long term well being of the survivors. China is no democracy.

The premier of China, the highest ranking chief operating official in the land, flew to the scene of disaster as soon as he heard of the devastating quake. He mobilize 100,000 PLA troops and personally supervised the rescue efforts. Despite the prompt response, there were private entrepreneurs that rushed to the scene even sooner with their equipment to began the rescue work.

Some cynics in the west condenscendingly attribute these action as Beijing's response to western pressure to do the right thing, suggesting that without the watchful eye of the western democracies, the Chinese would not have done so.

These are likely the same critics who have not criticized the moral turpitude surrounding Abu Graib and Guantanamo and whose holier than thou attitude renders them incapable of examining the vast difference betweeen the American response to Katrina and China's to the Sichuan quake.

The rest of the world realize that the United States have lost the moral high ground thanks to their conduct in Afghanistan and Iraq. Sadly, most of the Americans do not have a clue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear sir,
I'm an American citizen who considers it my duty to hold my elected officials accountable for their actions if I believe it's not in the best interest of those they represent.

I'm not sure you're aware of this, but an overwhelming number of our citizens believe our country is currently being hijacked by a band of Neo-conservatives who are outwardly hell-bent on world domination. Their goals are a matter of public record and I'm sorry to say that my fellow countrymen have been too slow to wake up to this fact and are hoping , this next election, to communicate this to the rest of the world by changing our leadership using a democratic process (I have hope, at least, that we still have the capacity to do so).

Considering the events of the last few years (and knowing a bit of history), I can understand your stance here but please know that there are far more Americans who agree with you about this than you might know. We are doing everything left in our power to rectify what has become a very dark period in our nation's history (one of many, as most countries have).

It may seem, by just looking at the mainstream media, that we're obsessed with material things and are just fat and lazy (I do believe capitalism breeds this if gone unchecked), but I hope you know that there is a silent majority of us who are ethical and very caring of the rest of the world- we strive for meaningful lives with regard and compassion toward those of all nations, not just our own.

Thank you for reading this. Take care, sir.