Monitoring Bush: kid gloves on China

As I’ve noted here many times before, the Bush administration’s rhetorical commitment to spreading freedom worldwide doesn’t always carry over into real life.

The latest example is the US decision not to propose a resolution critical of China’s human rights policies at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission.

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said China had taken “some important and significant steps” to improve conditions, including freeing some political prisoners, according them legal rights equal to other prisoners and respecting church services in people’s homes.

However here is what the US State Department published on China just three weeks ago in its annual human rights report:

The Government’s human rights record remained poor, and the Government continued to commit numerous and serious abuses. Citizens did not have the right to change their government, and many who openly expressed dissenting political views were harassed, detained, or imprisoned, particularly in a campaign late in the year against writers, religious activists, dissidents, and petitioners to the Central Government. Authorities were quick to suppress religious, political, and social groups that they perceived as threatening to government authority or national stability, especially before sensitive dates such as the 15th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre and other significant political and religious occasions.

There may be absolutely no connection between the decision to lay off China and the current visit of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Beijing, where she is seeking help in dealing with North Korea. But it’s worth noting that while the US treats the Chinese regime with kid gloves, it plans to introduce a resolution criticizing Cuba’s human rights record– justifiably but somewhat hypocritically.