Friday, September 07, 2007

Bush and China and the Death Penalty

Bush is in Sydney, Australia for the APEC summit. Yesterday, he spent 90 minutes with China's leader Hu Jintou. Amongst the topics for discussion were currency exchange, product safety, and North Korea. And Bush accepted an invitation to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

New York Democratic Senator and China critic, Chuck Schumer, wasn't satisfied with the results of what Bush called a " very constructive " conversation with the Chinese leader, saying:

``We need to get China to start playing by the rules on currency, safety of exports, and allowing American companies in key industries access to its markets,'' Schumer said in a statement in Washington. Bush ``has maintained a `talk softly and carry no stick' strategy for China.''

Given the close, mutually beneficial relationship between China and the Bush family that goes back at least to 1974 when former President George H. W. Bush was ambassador to China during the Nixon administration, we shouldn't hold our breath on Bush doing a darn thing towards China. Since then, the Bushes have profitted from a few business ventures with the Chinese (Tiananmen Square be damned). This would include Uncle Prescott Bush building China's first golf course. Wow, now there's something to brag about...........

"Neil Bush, the third of George H.W. Bush's four sons (George W., Jeb, Neil and Marvin), is the latest family member to hitch his fortunes to China.

In 1974, President Nixon named George H.W. Bush as his ambassador to China, a position he held for two years. In the 1980s, George H.W. Bush's brother, Prescott Bush Jr., began pursuing business opportunities on the mainland. In 1988, he teamed up with Japanese businessmen to build China's first golf course in Shanghai. He struck up a long friendship with former President Jiang, whose son is now a business partner of Neil Bush.

Prescott Bush Jr.'s Chinese ties generated their own share of controversy. He was criticized for meeting with Chinese business and government leaders just three months after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

The Shanghai golf venture became an embarrassment when allegations surfaced that his Japanese partners were trying to get business contracts by bribing Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega. Prescott Bush Jr.'s ties to an American firm, Asset Management, were scrutinized in 1989 because it was the only U.S. firm able to skirt sanctions and import communications satellites into China.

When Asset Management later went bankrupt, Prescott Bush Jr. arranged a bailout through a Japanese investment firm later accused of having ties to organized crime. There was no evidence he was aware of the alleged mob connection."

The Chinese leader did seek to comfort Bush and Americans by saying that China was doing all it could do to ensure product safety. They did after all execute an official because over this earlier this year. I doubt that Bush even flinched over that considering his record on executions as Texas governor.

Speaking of China and executions, Amnesty International says that they continue to lead the world in executions. They are responsible for at least 91% of the world's known executions. This AI report says that it's impossible to know exactly how many people are executed in China each year because it's a "state secret." However, the "true number is believed to be as high as 8,000" executed in that country in 2006. There is also a report that Chinese school children were once a part of an audience of 2,500 attending the deaths of 6 men.

And I can't think about the death penalty without thinking of Troy Davis. Stay strong, Troy.


Anonymous said...

He is completely without scruples, principles or morals. I dont even know how we ended up with such a horrible President. It seems like he is never going away, and he seems to be declining in his skills......

American Interests said...

Bush is far from perfect but I would prefer him to Hu anytime.