According to The Wall Street Journal, our ambassador to the People’s Republic of China thinks the Chinese performance on human rights is in the wane part of a cyclical trend.
Ambassador Gary Locke told television interviewer Charlie Rose in an interview that aired on Monday that China is significantly cracking down on dissent. He said Chinese leaders were afraid they could face uprisings similar to last year’s Arab Spring.
The human-rights climate “has always ebbed and flowed in China, up and down, but we seem to be in a down period and it’s getting worse.”
Some of the renewing trends that prompted Locke’s comments include these:
[F]ollowing anonymous online calls for an Arab World-style Jasmine Revolution in China, security forces detained or confined to their homes dozens of lawyers, artists, writers and other political activists.
Religious followers, particularly Tibetan Buddhists, Muslims and Christians who worship in unauthorized churches, have also been targeted….
The Chinese reacted badly to this, which tells me that Ambassador Locke isn’t far wrong. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liu Weimin, disputed Locke’s assertion, saying in part,
Some people always take viewpoints of the minority in China as the mainstream public opinion, and I think this is entirely wrong. If it is this way, should we take the views of those in the Occupy Wall Street movement as society’s mainstream public point of view?
As an aside, I wonder why he didn’t single out the Tea Party movement. Maybe he understands something that our Democrats don’t….