by Thomas J. Billitteri, July 25, 2008
Are crackdowns on basic freedoms increasing?
When the curtain rises on the Summer Olympics next month in Beijing, China will eagerly showcase its hypersonic economic growth and its embrace of what it calls the “rule of law.” But 19 years after its bloody suppression of protesters in Tiananmen Square, China will also be displaying its human-rights record for all to judge. Human-rights advocates say the sheen of Chinese progress and prosperity hides repression and brutality by the Chinese Communist Party, including the violent repression of pro-independence protesters in Tibet, forced abortions stemming from China’s one-child policy and the trampling of basic freedoms of speech, religion and assembly. Chinese government officials say their nation of 1.3 billion people has made huge strides on the legal and human-rights fronts and that the West has no business interfering in China’s internal affairs.
- Is China’s human-rights record improving?
- Will China’s exploding growth lead to Western-style democracy?
- Should U.S. companies in China push for human-rights reforms?
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