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Published:February 23rd, 2009 10:10 EST
Clinton`s Pragmatism over Chinese Relations Skewered by Protestors

Clinton`s Pragmatism over Chinese Relations Skewered by Protestors

By Christopher HIllenbrand

Dangling by a thin thread would be putting the state of U.S diplomatic relations with China lightly. Concerns over China`s mistreatment of the people of Tibet, a country long oppressed by the tight-fisted Communist nation, have instigated the U.S. State Department to take measures to resolve the injustice in the past.

But in a statement on Friday, contrary to official protocol, Secretary of State Hillary announced that she wouldn`t force the issue with the country`s leaders on the grounds that it may jeopardize China`s cooperation in regards to the economic crisis gripping the world. This development completely contradicts how she presented her original stance to China`s heads of state last week.

Representatives from Amnesty International and pro-Tibet activist groups were up in arms over her revelation. A spokesperson for Amnesty International U.S.A. spoke for every organization dedicated to ending the plight of the Tibetan people when he said they were shocked and extremely disappointed by her press release.

He continued: the United States is one of the only countries that can meaningfully stand up to China on human rights issues. But by commenting that human rights will not interfere with other priorities, Secretary Clinton damages future U.S. initiatives to protect those rights in China.

Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch had each sent her letter prior to her first visit to China addressing the topic. Now that Secretary Clinton rescinded what they perceived as a mutual interest, it only further sparks their outrage.

Students for a Free Tibet declared in a brief comment that Clinton`s announcement gave China the wrong impression over what the world at large stands for. Tenzin Dorjee, the deputy director for the organization based in New York City voiced his opinion.

The U.S. government cannot afford to let Beijing set the agenda. Leaders really need to step up and pressure China. It`s often easy to wonder whether pressure makes a difference. It may not make a difference in one day or one month, but it would be visible after some years.

But Clinton defended herself and the adapted policy though.

But our pressing on those issues can`t interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis, she explained to reporters in Seoul, South Korea, before her flight to Beijing took off.

Endorsing her argument, the Chinese government has been rattled with the recent election of a forward-thinking president in Barack Obama. Their worries that the U.S. government will now urge them to stop their cruelty to Tibet and their own people met with China`s cold reception to diplomacy. These troubles hadn`t plagued the Bush administration for the simple fact that they ignored the Chinese government`s despicable conduct. Now that the Obama presidency has begun, those eight straight years of failed politics, that have ultimately isolated us from the rest of the world, are coming back to haunt us on all fronts.

Before Clinton left for China the second time, a representative for the State Department told sources that civil rights would be significant item on her agenda though he asserted it would be brought up in a timely fashion.

To controvert her argument in the same token, China hasn`t exactly been secretive in its aggression against its sovereignty, necessitating the strong opposition from protestors worldwide. China has recently been deploying ground forces into Tibet on the eve of the 50th anniversary that sent the country`s religious icon, the Dalai Lama, into exile in India.