Global Security Headlines

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bienvenue Hu Jintao, Au revoir des Manifs

Sarkozy, Hu Jintao à L'Élysée Palace
Welcome Hu Jintao, Good-bye Protests
Yesterday French Presidente Nicolas Sarkozy rolled out the red carpet for the state visit of the world's most powerful man according to Forbes magazine, Chinese President Hu Jintao.

When the world's banker comes calling to talk finance, it is a champagne and caviar occasion - protesters be damned.

Freedom Exchanged for Money
The cost of the Sino-Franco $16 billion for Airbus planes and reactors - sweeping away any hint of demonstrators for Liu Xiaobo's freeedom.

Recall the Chinese dissident was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his ''long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." Will Beijing release him from imprisonment to accept his prize in person?

Monsieur Sarkozy had a perfect forum to press for his freedom.

Is the freedom to protest in France now interdit? Pas de liberté?

Notice in this video how the police cracked down on a group of peaceful protesters from Reporters Without Frontiers (RSF in French), resulting in six arrests and others enroute were detained in the subway

Is this how France treats protesters for human freedom? Were the latter RSF members under police surveillance to prevent a peaceful protest?

This aggressive action is reprehensible.

Observers note a softening in Sarkozy's tone toward China after a tiff over Tibet two years ago. The French president had threatened to boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics over China's tough Tibet policy.

When France learned to ''behave,'' the Chinese president showed up for a state visit. 

Just like during the Cold War, such ''impoliteness'' toward communist dictatorships could scuttle lucrative business deals to sustain their grubby grip on power.

What about human rights, Monsieur Sarkozy?
Thus, even inside democratic countries like La France, communist norms - protests are broken up - are enforced to carefully manage the dictator's visit in hopes of exchanging curbs on freedom for a favorable outcome of trade negotiations.

Human dignity is not for sale, however.

China's growing strength in socio-eco-politico matters on the global stage demands a greater exercise of  responsibility on its part and accountability by freedom-loving states to engage Beijing without compromising but defending principles like les droits de l'homme, Monsieur Sarkozy.

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