How many activists are there in China?
One reference says that many claim to be veterans of Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. There is a Wiki post, of course, listing known and popular dissidents.
Most are well educated academics and professionals who grew tired and despondent over repression of individual freedom. The lock-step nature of totalitarian and communist regimes eventually wears thin as a larger number of the population become more educated and accomplished.
While you can count the number of known activists in the hundreds, I suspect the people with sentimental affinity are in the hundreds of millions, though that is pure conjecture.
In my direct experience with mainland Chinese students at University of California at Berkeley Worldwide, I can say by comparison 1) they were among the most intelligent individuals with whom I have ever interacted, 2) they were intensely inquisitive asking detailed questions about how things are done and why, 3) they appeared to long for the opportunity to demonstrate their peaceful nature, and 4) they demonstrate uncanny business sense even though their elders may prevent their applying it.
Therein is the gap in China progress in my opinion and experience. There is great distance between the burgeoning education professionals and the leaders who are stuck in Communist ideological legacy.
“What if all of the “activists” in China wanted to depart with Hillary?
This is the right time to calibrate foreign policy once again. What is the threshold for the U.S. Secretary of State becoming embroiled in an asylum plea by a political activist anywhere in the world?
We all know that China’s human rights policies are not aligned with ours. They have a massive population management problem in China and take extreme measures to control it. I am not excusing extreme measures that include violation of what we call civil liberties, though our definitions are not the same.
Influencing China with a projection of our values is a long-term proposition on merit. Chen Guangcheng is crying out of his personal darkness, finding purpose in the pursuit of improvement for people in China and that is admirable. However, the ideal solution would be to work with the Chinese government to cut the activist some slack and let him continueto live in his homeland.
His being a “troublemaker” is by choice.
Things may have gotten so bad now that Chen feels compelled to get his family and himself out of China on board with Mrs. Clinton. That spectacle would be a further embarrassment for the Chinese government and yet another diplomatic challenge.
On return, the State Department had better review such circumstances because not everyone can escape to America. It is time for people to fix their governments at home.
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