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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Is China abandoning the soft touch?

Implications for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Human Rights

A United Press International analysis suggests that China is starting to caste off it's "soft touch" approach to relations with Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Essentially, that the soft approach embodied in China's policy of "peaceful rising" has not been working and that Taiwan, for example, is moving further away from possible unification as a result.

As such, a return to a hardline approach to Taiwan would mean that China could abandon any pretence of holding up Hong Kong as a showcase to entice Taiwan to the fold. The ramifications for Hong Kong and democracy are obvious.

Whilst I do not focus on these issues as a rule I have noticed a general hardening of Beijing's posture on international relations of late. Use of flattery and cajoling as a policy tool of international relations, especially as it concerns trade, has given way ever so slightly to a seemingly harder "take it or leave it" attitude.

In areas such as foreign countries' relations with the Dalai Lama, for example, Beijing has on occasion been downright threatening in it's diplomatic posturing. Internally the recent detention of Chinese Doctor Jiang Yanyong, the SARS hero, is certainly a thumb to world opinion as is the cancellation of a UN Torture investigators visit and the apparent increased harassment of Catholic clergy.

It has been suggested that the Chinese Communist party is re-examining it's "Peaceful Rising" strategy of international relations to the extent that some believe that it is now a dead duck. What will replace it could be rather interesting.

Link: Additional Information Read Rating:
United Press International: "Analysis: Is China losing its soft touch?" June 26 2004 (Viewed 26/6/04)