China's Relationship With The West Essay

China's Relationship With The West Essay

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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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