Today, President Bush will roll out the red carpet for Chinese President Hu Jintao, a leader whose government brutally crushes freedom, democracy and the religious expression of the Chinese and Tibetan people. Hu will receive the best welcome U.S. taxpayer money can buy, including full military honors and a 21-gun salute.
This is the same regime that provides military technologies to countries that threaten international security, including Iran and North Korea. The same regime that threatens Taiwan with a military attack, detains and tortures Chinese people for expressing their political and religious beliefs and arrests Tibetans for carrying a picture of the Dalai Lama.
Unfortunately, Pelosi seems to be a voice in the wilderness on this issue. But she couldn't be more right --
U.S. policy toward China is ineffective in upholding the pillars of our foreign policy — promoting democratic freedom, stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and growing our economy by promoting exports abroad. Instead, we have pursued trickle-down liberty — promoting economic freedom first, assuming that political freedom will follow. Reality exposes this policy as the illusion it is.
Bush administration officials say they hope that China will become a "responsible stakeholder." We should avoid wishful thinking. Beijing's priority is regime security. Economic development, along with the harsh repression of its own citizens, are the means to maintain political power. Access to the U.S. market is central to Beijing's strategy.
Democrats, follow your leader. For once, she knows where she's going.