Friday, April 21, 2006

President Hu Jintao at Yale

Rell, DeStefano Won't Attend

One of the most powerful men in the world will be speaking at Yale, today. The mayor of New Haven and the governor of Connecticut will not be in attendance, according to the Yale Daily News:
Yale President Richard Levin said Wednesday that he extended DeStefano an invitation to hear Hu's speech in Sprague Hall, but DeStefano's spokesman said he could not clear his schedule for Hu's appearance. Neither could Rell, according to her spokesman, so she deputized the commission of the state's Department of Economic and Community Development to greet the president ceremonially. (Mishkin)
Hu's visit has been about the trade deficit and opening the Chinese market ever wider, not about China's rather dismal human rights record. In fact, American leaders seem increasingly willing to overlook Chinese human rights abuses in the face of China's growing economic and political clout. Levin believes that free trade will eventually lead to democratization:
[Levin] said Western investment and open markets would encourage China to improve its human rights record and allow more freedoms. (AP)
Either that, or it will encourage China to think that it can do whatever it pleases, so long as Western businesses are happy. A free market doesn't necessarily lead to a free country: ask the Russians, who seem to be sliding back towards authoritarianism under Vladimir Putin. And the Chinese Communist Party shows no signs of relaxing its grip on power, which it has held since 1949.

In any event, Rell and DeStefano could have cleared a few hours from their schedules to meet with this man, couldn't they?

Or was this a deliberate snub?

Sources

"Chinese President Hu to cap U.S. tour with Yale speech." Associated Press 21 April, 2006.

Mishkin, Sarah. "DeStefano, Rell will not see speech." Yale Daily News 21 April, 2006.

12 comments:

goodbye said...

It would have been better not to send anybody than to send Abromaitis. Even Bush had lunch with the guy even if he didn't throw him a state dinner. It is a diplomatic slap in the face.

BRubenstein said...

DeStefano as the leader of the city should have cleared his schedule to meet with the Chinese President. Perhaps if he didnt let Malloy back into the game he would have found the time and motivation.

By the way...of the Chinese leaders...Jintao is the "liberal" of the group and should be cultivated by our government to open up their system more.

Frank S. said...

You show respect for the office. You can also voice that they need to look at human rights. This showed no class on their parts.

TrueBlueCT said...

Hey, I disagree about Rell and DeStefano being in attendance.

Whatever happened was probably part of an overall strategy from the State Department? Or am I wrong.

I did go down to the Green to try and learn more about Falun Gong, Chinese governmental repression, and human rights abuse.

What I was surprise to find where hundreds of Communist flag-waving counter-protestors, dressed in red, with silly cut out stars taped to their baseball caps. The worst was a screamingly-loud PA system, blaring the Chinese national anthem over and over again.

The Falun Gong protestors were still there, and despite the interference, were doing a polite job of getting their message out. Part of it was a claim that organs were being harvested from convicts!

The one thing I figured out was that I'm not a Statist. I just can't trust the flag-waving, anthem-blarers of this world. And the helicopters constantly circling overhead are giving me the creeps.

Other than that, I hope this country knows what it is doing with regard to China.

TrueBlueCT said...

Great New Haven Independent coverage of the event!

Genghis Conn said...

Incredible stuff, TrueBlue--especially about the loudspeaker!

There are more pictures from the Independent here.

goodbye said...

truebluect probably has it right when he said: Whatever happened was probably part of an overall strategy from the State Department? Or am I wrong. The State Department always allows foreign leaders to visit our country so state and municipal officials can insult them. Bush met with the guy and even apologized or a Falon Gong member with press credentials who got out of line (and was arrested and muzzled) to the chagrin of the Chinese paper that got her the press pass.

goodbye said...

forgot the happy face that Berg's taught me about :))

Wolcottboy said...

How to treat a foreign nuclear power:

Offer to have a snack, rather than 6 course State Dinner

Allow hecklers in the Press Corps in attendance.

Announce their country's national anthem as a different country that you wish they were.

Have english-to-english translators available to re-define what our leader's official statements REALLY mean.

Allow them to visit the country without really meeting anyone important.

- Yes, Rell should have been there. Things are important in Hartford, but c'mon - its the head of a nation with 1 billion people.
I guess the Chinese government can tout that he met the political leader, a major businessman and the most prestigious university in the country. Not bad really...

Don Pesci said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Don Pesci said...

"... was this a deliberate snub?" Well, it was an artful snub. After all, we do have a free press here; Gov. Rell simply lacks the power to convince large American computer firms to bleach from their sites information that may be inconvenient to her. And -- who knows -- someone among our more intrepid reporters might have asked her some embarrassing questions concerning China's persecution of religion and the country's failure to abdide by most of the amendments to our beloved constitution. By the way, fascism and free trade are perfectly compatible. When Hitler was asked whether he, as a socialist, intended to extend his strictures to businesses, he said no; he intended to socialize the country. But he, like the president of Yale, was a free trader.

goodbye said...

This is all Richard Nixon's fault anyway since he did go to China back in the '70's to try and get things going. Damn those American ping pong players.