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China's Relationship With The West Essay

3721 words - 15 pages

China's Relationship with the West

There are various ways in which a country can put pressure on
another country, and many such ways were used by the West regarding
the poor standards of human rights in China.

The main tactic used by the West was to send an authoritative figure
such as the Head of State to raise the issue in hand within the
country. Both Britain and America sent representatives, however each
country had a different method of addressing the situation. The
President of America, who visited China in June 1998, chose a very
direct, blunt approach. President Clinton used 'some of the harshest
American language against China for years' to tell the Chinese leaders
that their state of human rights was 'thoroughly unacceptable'.
Britain on the other hand approached the situation delicately,
desperate not to offend the Chinese and provoke conflict. Blair, who
visited Chine in October 1998, said 'persuasion and dialogue achieve
more than confrontation and empty rhetoric'. Britain's main motive for
such delicacy was it's fear of China's discontinuing their trading
rights. However despite this fear Britain still felt it necessary to
take action, as they too agreed that China's standard of human rights
was inadequate. Also, Blair was likely to face criticism if he was
seen to 'soft pedal on attacking human rights' in China. Rather than
confronting China aggressively, Tony Blair at first complimented the
country, before carefully addressing the 'differences'between the West
and China regarding human rights. By using this conciliatory method of
criticism, Blair hoped to gain China's trust to prevent offending them
when he came round to discussing the 'universal'issue of human rights
in China.

China also received pressure from human rights groups such as Free
Tibet, Reporters Sans Frontières and Amnesty International. These
groups supported Blair's cautious censure of China's human rights, and
favoured negotiation and persuasion to the American's aggressive
approach. Alison Reynolds, the head of Free Tibet, hoped that Blair
would 'urge China to open dialogue with the Dalai Lama'. Amnesty
International had what was perhaps the most aggressive argument
against China, but even still they refrained from harshly or abusively
accusing China of poor human rights. Instead they used persuasive
language with strong implications, such as 'they call into question
China's sincerity in signing key human rights conventions'.

China also bore pressure regarding human rights from members of it's
own country. The Tiananmen Square incident, instigated by Deng in
1989, raised huge uproar in China. On the anniversaries of this event
many people affected by Deng's 'crackdown on pro-democracy protests'
gathered to protest against the murder of thousands of students. These
people, marked...

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