17 November 2005

Bush on China

I read that President Bush has been acclaiming the freedom and democracy of Taiwan, and suggested that mainland China continue to open up and follow a similar path.

There is nothing in this that I think anyone who supports liberal democracy, whether libertarian or even the Green party could fundamentally disagree with. Taiwan and South Korea have both transitioned from authoritarian governments to being fully fledged vibrant and fairly free liberal democracies. Protest and free speech is open in both countries – leaving their counterparts (the People’s Republic of China and North Korea) far behind. Mainland China has made much progress, but it still executes political opponents and cracks down on freedom of expression from time to time.

And I don’t want to see any nonsense about the United States abusing human rights – organise a political party, print a newspaper, run a protest in New York, then try Taipei, then try Beijing – only in the last one will you face a long prison sentence and probably torture.

Bush is right - and only the George Galloways and other sycophants of murderers would disagree.

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