Friday, April 08, 2011

Think again, Kerry

I admire the way John Kerry has comported himself since Obama took office -- re Afghanistan, re New Start, re Egypt -- but I think this is a foolish sentiment:
"They've got to be laughing at us right now" in China, said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry. "How terrific that the United States of America can't make a decision."
While Republicans and Democrats have been busy denouncing each other's policies and motives, the Chinese authorities have further reduced their tolerance for denunciation -- or criticism -- from anyone:

China has shifted its clampdown on dissent up a gear with the detention of a world-renowned artist, Ai Weiwei, revealing a government at once insecure about its grip on power and yet unruffled by Western criticism of its heavy-handed rule....
...even after the Middle Eastern upheavals have died down, China's tight grip is unlikely to loosen much as the Party readies a leadership handover from 2012 that is likely to see President Hu Jintao stand aside for Xi Jinping, now vice president (Reuters, 4/8). 
Me, I prefer fierce political combat between duly elected ideological foes to gun-barrel unanimity.  I'm sure Kerry does too.

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