According to CNN, word spread about a possible breakthrough in the case of Chinese activist, Chen Guangcheng on Friday. For those of you who maybe haven’t heard about this story, Guangcheng escaped while he was under house arrest and hide from Chinese authorities in the US Embassy in Beijing. Obviously this incident has put another strain on an already tense relationship between the United States and China.
The interesting part is that the Chinese government said that Guangcheng could apply to be allowed to go to the United States as a student. US officials have praised China with their more peaceful approach to solving this tense issue.
Here is what Liu Weimin, the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry had to say about the Guangcheng case: “As a Chinese citizen, he may apply like other Chinese citizens according to the laws and normal procedures of the relevant departments” (CNN).
US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had this to say in response to the Chinese government’s decision in the Guangcheng debacle: “From the beginning, all of our efforts with Mr. Chen have been guided by his choices and our values, and I’m pleased that today our ambassador has spoken with him again, our embassy staff and our doctor had a chance to meet with him and he confirms that he and his family now want to go to the United States so he can pursue his studies” (CNN).
Overall, it appears that both the Chinese and the US handled this situation very well. Both sides have indicated that this situation should be used as a template when it comes to future issues between the US and the Chinese.
Unfortunately, there have been times before when the world believed China was liberalizing its social and economic policies but then they reminds us all that they are still a Communist nation. China has always been an interesting story because they were able to use policies from the Soviet Union and the US. From the Soviet Union, the Chinese learned the limitations of Communism and how it could ultimately topple your country if you do not keep it in check. That is where the US influence comes from. The Chinese are Communist yet they have Capitalist tones in their economy. The Capitalist features in Chinese society are mostly why the Chinese have been able to stay Communist while most others have fallen.
The bottom line is that the US and China need each other to be prosperous nations. Unfortunately, since they are Communist, that still rubs some US officials the wrong way. Ultimately, we need to put aside differences and work out any sensitive issues because we are dependent on each other when it comes to trade.