IN OTHER WORDS
President Bush is finally beginning to complain — gingerly — about China’s disgraceful wave of pre-Olympics repression. With the start of the 2008 Games less than two weeks away, we hope that he keeps speaking out and enlists others to join him, including world and corporate leaders and the International Olympic Committee — if it is not already beyond redemption.
After playing Beijing’s game and declining to condemn China’s latest crackdown on critics and journalists, Bush deserves credit for holding talks on Tuesday with five prominent Chinese dissidents. The White House said that Bush spoke of his “concerns” about human rights in China. The problem is that Bush’s
approach is still too deferential given China’s defiant behavior.
Chinese authorities have harassed and locked up critics, intimidated journalists, selectively denied visas, silenced grieving parents who lost children in the May 12 earthquake and relocated thousands of Chinese whose homes were seen as marring Beijing’s image. Bush cannot go to the Olympics in silence. As the House of Representatives said in a resolution, approved 419 to 1, he must insist that China act immediately to cease rights abuses, allow promised press freedoms and permit peaceful political activities during the Games. — The New York Times