Selling out to Chinese commerce

With regard to Phelim Kine’s Tuesday Commentary column, “Hu’s missing”: If the Chinese weren’t able to exert so much economic influence on the world, there would be more prominent voices raised in opposition to the thuggery of the Chinese government.

Behind the facade of “social harmony” in China, there are peaceful dissidents, would-be democrats, Catholics, Tibetan Buddhists and other “unsanctioned” people of faith who are being jailed, beaten, tortured and murdered with the tacit approval of Beijing. More troubling, the “efficiency” of the Chinese system is often held up as a model to be emulated, even if those who do so tut-tut at its more brutal manifestations.

It is an inconvenient truth that the Nazi system before World War II was also productive; so was Napoleon’s France. Chinese President Hu Jintao may not scream or pound on the table, but he has far more in common with Hitler and Stalin than he does with Eisenhower or Reagan. Democracy and human rights aren’t an easy business, but materialistic efficiency at the expense of rights produces tyranny and tyrants like Mr. Hu.

THOMAS M. DORAN

Plymouth, Mich.

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