China's Relationship With The West

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China's Relationship With The West There is great concern in the West about the issue of human rights in China. Is the West able to have any influence over this issue? 1. Pressure On China High-level visits to China from important political people such as the President, MPs and the Prime Minister, put extreme pressure on China and the government. As well as pressure, they also bring a mixture of criticism, praises, suggestions and proposals. President Clinton of the USA visited China in June 1998. While he was there, he made an impact on the country and the government and there were even suggestions that Mr Jiang was pondering the need for political reform. It was an achievement for Mr Clinton when the Chinese President took the unprecedented step of taking part in a press conference with Mr. Clinton, which was broadcast live on Chinese television. In 1997, Clinton used a "softer" approach on China to try to encourage them to sign a United Nations covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, obliging their country to protect people from discrimination. However, this rapprochement held a big risk for Clinton because a lot of people believed that he was being too "soft on China". So when he went to China in 1998, he used a different tactical approach. He decided to be very critical and direct, laying down his opinions very firmly. He told China's leaders that their treatment of political dissidents was "thoroughly unacceptable". Human rights was at the top of his controversial state visit and by the time that he had left he had made sure that the Chinese knew exactly what the USA thought about that issue. President Clinto... ... middle of paper ... ...tely fed and clothed before he can talk about rites and music. If survival is in question, what freedom can we talk about?" Also, Mr Li said, "Democracy may be suitable for the West. However, China has its own conditions. We are a developing country with a large population." The Chinese point of view is that they have the right to feed the people first as that is the most important thing at the moment and is more important. When people are fed and surviving then political rights can be discussed and decided on. However, if survival is in question then feeding the people who are suffering in pain and might die is much more important than political rights. The USA has a conflicting opinion to this so it does create friction between them and could influence China's attitude towards them on the issue of human rights.

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