Following up on Web’s rant yesterday, a couple of interesting articles.
First, from the Washington Post:
President Obama granted him the full state-dinner treatment that President George W. Bush denied him five years ago – but in return, Hu had to put up with a news conference, which he had refused to do when Obama visited China. For a repressive ruler, facing a free press is about as pleasant a prospect as attending the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
After the leaders’ standard opening statements full of the blah-blah about bilateral cooperation, the Associated Press’s Ben Feller rose and asked a gutsy, forceful question.
“Can you explain to the American people how the United States can be so allied with a country that is known for treating its people so poorly, for using censorship and force to repress its people?” he asked Obama. And to Hu: “I’d like to give you a chance to respond to this issue of human rights. How do you justify China’s record, and do you think that’s any of the business of the American people?”
Obama answered. The translator translated. All eyes turned to Hu – who said nothing.
Instead, he looked to a woman from China Central Television – the state-run network that answers to the Communist Party’s propaganda department – who tossed him a softball about “friendship and mutual understanding.”
Perhaps the most humorous take of the visit in 25 words or less: The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner holds a State Dinner for a man who has the 2010 winner under House Arrest
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