China is a fascinating country. Beijing is a modern, bustling city, while there are areas in the countryside that look like they are still in the 12th century. China held the Olympics back in 2008, yet their government is building islands in the South China Sea for unspecified reasons. As Americans, we have an interesting relationship with this country. We depend on them for an enormous percentage of our imported manufactured goods, and strive to get their cooperation on global trade deals and their support towards North Korea. Yet we seem to forget about China itself. I for one, nearly forgot that China’s government was so oppressive to its people- and that the Communist Party is in power.
It’s easy to forget that while we condemn the actions of North Korea: their censorship, lack of liberties, and police state, their large neighbor to the west is doing the same things, if not to a lesser extent- and nothing is being done about it. There seem to be two sides of China. The public face that it shows to the world, the U.N., and in its diplomatic trade relationships with other countries, and the reality that its people face every day: the Great Firewall of China included. For a country that prides itself on spreading democratic values and not condoning oppression of liberties and freedoms, we sure do a lot of business with China. Does the U.S. really have such a moral high ground when we are essentially supporting the economy of a nation that does not guarantee its citizens their rights? The power of money and wealth never fails to blow my mind.