Bill Clinton’s charity to assist China’s AIDS victims

At least one US president seems to understand where US help is really needed. In just a few months, Clinton, together with Dr. Ho, has done more to focus world attention on China’s AIDS crisis than anyone else. I really miss our last legally elected president….

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 2 Comments

Richard, I agree with you. President Clinton is one of those whose interest in China goes beyond the country’s profitability.We really owe appreciation to him for his invaluable help in the ongoing fighting with AIDS. One big secret of our government is that they are far more responsive to pressures from outside than to cries of the country’s citizens. If not for President’s Clinton’s efforts, I’m afraid AIDS would still be an absolute tamboo in China today. And it is no accident that he is one of the most popular Americans abroad.

Like it all not, the United States does paly a unique role in the world, the extent of which is not always understood by U.S. policy makers. When I came across those terrible photos of abused Iraqi prisoners, I can imagine how Chinese media would respond to it. Without doubt, they will take advantage of it. Not only as evidence of how evil Americans are, but as evidence of “the truth of democracy”. Although CCP itself has one of the worst records in terms of human rights violations, it does not matter in these situations. This would just destroy the image of the United States and democracy, two concepts that seem always to appear together in China, just like Bush and Cheney in the U.S.

Of course, the U.S government is not legally bound to advance the welfare of other nations. But once they put a moral slogan on their foreign policy, they are subject to the most stingent testing standards in the world. While this is in some way unfair, I expected President elected to lead the most influential country in the world to have this knowldege. Obviously I was wrong.

April 30, 2004 @ 9:59 pm | Comment

Hui, I think you make an excellent point about China being so responsive to pressure from the outside. Yes, they get all upset about it at first, but if it is in their better interest, they will listen.

And as you say, the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, even it was by a handful of fools, causes a huge image problem for America, one that may set us back years. About expecting bush to have knowledge of fofreign relations — forget about it. He surrounded himself with Cold Warriors for whom foreign relations meant the US vs. the Soviet Union. They are outdated, impotent fools who in a few short years managed to ruin America’s image abroad, and it will take years to undo the damage.

May 1, 2004 @ 3:28 pm | Comment

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