I have for awhile been from the, "Trust but verify ... China will get old before it gets rich ... contain & balance" school ... but now and then it is good to read things like this from Chinese author Yu Jie who left China last month for the United States, where he intends to study and write on religious freedom.
I arrived in the United States a month ago, thinking I had escaped the reach of Beijing, only to realize that the Chinese government’s shadow continues to be omnipresent. Several U.S. universities that I have contacted dare not invite me for a lecture, as they cooperate with China on many projects. If you are a scholar of Chinese studies who has criticized the Communist Party, it would be impossible for you to be involved in research projects with the Chinese-funded Confucius Institute, and you may even be denied a Chinese visa. Conversely, if you praise the Communist Party, not only would you receive ample research funding but you might also be invited to visit China and even received by high-level officials. Western academic freedom has been distorted by invisible hands.
I believe that China is a far greater threat than the former Soviet Union ever was; unfortunately, the West lacks visionary politicians, such as Ronald Reagan, to stand up to this threat. President Obama might perceive the Chinese Communist Party as a tiger that does not bite and, hence, is looking forward to Vice President Xi Jinping’s visit this week. Will Obama, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, openly request that China release Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace laureate imprisoned by the Communist Party? Why did Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have the courage to meet with Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi but not to meet with Liu? Is it because Burma is weak, while China is strong?