Top China paper slams Clinton's democracy comments

BEIJING Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:45pm EDT

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's top newspaper slammed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday for comments she made lauding democracy and implicitly criticizing restrictions in China, saying those Asian countries that ape U.S. democracy were doomed to fail.

Earlier this week, Clinton held up Mongolia's sometimes messy politics as a democratic model for Asia. While she did not directly name China, her comments appeared aimed partly at Beijing.

In China's first response to her remarks, ruling Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily said Clinton was acting as a "preacher for human rights" by praising certain countries to obliquely attack China.

"Who is the United States to haughtily appraise Asia's democratic position?" the newspaper said in a commentary.

Asian countries were now booming, unlike Western countries stuck in the morass of economic crisis, proving they could go down "a path different from the West and create political systems which suit their national characteristics".

"Experience proves that it is those Asian countries which 'draw a tiger with a cat as a model' and mechanically copy the U.S. democratic system which ... lag in development, and even today some of these countries have not recovered," it said.

Clinton is due at a regional security forum in Cambodia on Thursday, which Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will also attend.

China and the United States are closely entwined economically and increasingly on the diplomatic front, but they have clashed repeatedly over issues ranging from Tibet and Taiwan to trade and the value of the Chinese currency.

The commentary added that the United States had ulterior motives for pushing democracy in Asia.

"In reality, lauding democracy and holding the flag for human rights is an important part of the U.S. 'return to Asia' strategy," it said.

But the United States has failed to understand how Asia has changed because it has let its attention slip in the region, the newspaper wrote.

The commentary was published under the pen name "Zhong Sheng", meaning "Voice of China", which is often used to give the paper's view on foreign policy issues.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait)

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Comments (7)
Where is Clinton’s original text?

Clinton obviously picked the wrong analogy.

It’s capitalism against communistic economy, and China has abandoned a communist economy.

Clinton could have cited how much more prosperous Taiwan was, when Taiwan became fully democratic as compared to previously under a single party rule.

Or Clinton could have cited how much more Hong Kong had been growing under a freer capitalistic system, while its growth has been relatively stunted, since it returned to China.

There are many other better examples.

Anybody who has visited Mongolia lately knows that its economy is floundering. Even the biggest city of Mongolia, the tourist haunts look like the third world of the 1950s, while the tourist haunts of China look like they have arrived.

Jul 11, 2012 10:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Letstalk wrote:
“In reality, lauding democracy and holding the flag for human rights is an important part of the U.S. ‘return to Asia’ strategy,” it said.

Well, your return was the cause of the slide in peace within the Asian region, and increased amounts of conflicts. After Obama’s visit, Japan started fighting with China and Korea on territory disputes. Phillipines breached foreign soil illegally and do whatever they like. Singapo was smart to turn the US away. Please, if you appreciate asian people’s human right, stay away from the region. If you appreciate so much of human rights, you can prove to the world by resolving human rights and staving issues in Africa. There are people dying everyday there for years. Is that not a more pressing matter? Why do you only come to countries with money?

Jul 11, 2012 10:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Rich coming from Hillary, US holds the worlds worst record of holding prisoners without access to proper legal councils. Just take the example of GITMO and many more human right violations i.e. water boarding of prisoners in contravention of Geneva conventions. And in the same breath suppressing palestinian issues, where is the moral equivalency here I ask?

Jul 11, 2012 11:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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