Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Really hard to tell


In an interview with the WaPo, Bush says it’s “really hard to tell” how free China is. Is it now?

HE’S THE REMINDERER: “My main objective in my discussions on religious freedom is to remind this new generation of leadership that religion is not to be feared but to be welcomed in society.”

Asked whether all his quiet diplomacy actually has any effect on Hu Jintao, he said, “Oh, I think he listens, absolutely. I think he’s interested. ... He absorbs, he takes in, he listens.” He fidgets, he checks his watch discretely, he counts ceiling tiles, he checks his watch not so discretely, he crosses and re-crosses his legs while stifling yawns, he checks his watch pointedly...

Asked about the crackdown on dissidents, Tibetans and, well, everyone leading up to the Olympics, Bush said, “They’re hypersensitive to a potential terrorist attack,” adopting the Chinese regime’s position that anyone who disagrees with it is a potential terrorist.

But there are bright signs: “The Internet provides interesting opportunities for people to express themselves. Sometimes it’s open, sometimes the filters are there.” Schmuck, that just applies to the internet access provided to foreign reporters covering the Olympics. For everyone else, it’s never open, the filters are always there.

No comments: