President Hu came to Washington, and Obama threw him a big party. Why? Last time I checked, China is a human rights violator and currency manipulator. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that we are now more interdependent than ever before. And, to be fair to Obama, some progress was made, according to Charlie Hurt of The New York Post, who wrote:
Dignitaries and celebrities, including Jackie Chan, Barbra Streisand, designer Vera Wang, and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, dined on pear salad with goat cheese, lobster, rib-eye steak with double-stuffed potatoes, creamed spinach, and apple pie with vanilla ice cream.
Before the dinner, Obama did win agreements to help US companies trying to crack into the Chinese market.
China agreed to scrap its government’s “indigenous innovation” policy of only purchasing Chinese-made goods and agreed to an export deal worth $45 billion, including $19 billion for the purchase of 200 airliners from Boeing.
At a joint press conference with Obama, Hu applauded the “positive, cooperative and comprehensive” relationship between the two countries and said he and Obama agreed “to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in economy and trade, energy and the environment.”
“We champion free trade and oppose protectionism,” Hu said.
On another thorny issue, Hu made a rare admission on human rights. During the press conference, he said China had made enormous progress but surprisingly conceded that “a lot still needs to be done in China in terms of human rights.”
On currency issues, Hu said only that China would slowly adjust the value of its currency, but many say its pace is too slow as it continued to give its exporters — both legitimate and illegitimate — a competitive edge.
“I absolutely believe China’s peaceful rise is good for the world, and it’s good for America,” Obama said, addressing a major concern in Beijing that the United States wants to see China’s growth constrained.
Okay, that’s nice, but what about the currency issue? I really don’t care that much about it, because I think the theft of intellectual property is a bigger problem. All those counterfeit products and such violate the rules that make our free market work.
Judge Napolitano speaks with K. Anthony Appiah about China’s human rights record: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmbXZKxLdBk