A New China Policy?

July 15, 1998

Has U.S. policy toward China changed? I believe that it has as a result of President Clintonís trip. Michael Kelly writing for the Washington Post says as much. He says, "Throughout the end years of the Cold War, the United States adhered to a China policy rooted in the idea that a limited friendship between two adversaries was not a bad thing when it served to trouble a third, more dangerous, enemy. This rationale disappeared with the Soviet Union. Since then, American policy has attempted to deal with China as it was--a Communist totalitarian state guided by an ideology inimical to American interests and repugnant to American values."

He argues that this policy died during President Clintonís China trip and a new one was born. This new policy regards China and the United States as "partners, not adversaries," to use the words of President Jiang Zemin. Instead of linking Chinaís behavior on human rights to trade, President Clinton de-linked these two strategic areas. President Clinton even went so far as to compare Chinaís human rights abuses to Americaís. He said Americans must "acknowledge the painful moments in our own history when fundamental human rights were denied."

Michael Kelly concludes that "The lesson of Tiananmen Square is not that Chinaís dictators must change. It is that Americans must change. We must be more sensitive. We must acknowledge our sins. We must be patient. We must not judge lest we be judged."

I guess the lesson here is that in our attempt to change China, China changed us. The United States compromised on human rights and merely decided to agree to disagree.

Iím Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and thatís my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International