So Google is finally getting tough with loud-mouth, despotic, internationally irresponsible China. Will the U.S. do the same, or will it continue the lickspittle game played when President Barack Obama delayed seeing the Dalai Lama, fearful that a visit with this servant of justice might offend Chinese big shots?
Google had been putting toadyism over principle, going along with Chinese censorship in its profitable Internet search operations in that giant land. Then, after the Chinese started hacking e-mails of human rights activists, it said “no more.”
Our leaders need to have that kind of epiphany. They must stop far short of a trade war — or the bad old days of virtually no communication or cooperation at all — as we push back against Chinese belligerence, cheating and lies while also understanding that even worse could transpire if we play the role of purring pussycats.
The current Chinese transgressions are too numerous to mention here. There are international issues — kicking Tibetans around, not doing boo to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons — and there are the economic issues, such as a hoarding of dollars that keeps money out of private economies at a time of need and manipulating currency to give it unfair trade advantages.
Ending trade with China would be a big mistake — we do have billions in exports going there and Chinese imports not only help provide affordable necessities to millions of Americans but also help provide huge numbers of jobs in retail outlets. But those pluses would multiply many times if China quit the currency fraud. Experts both left and right argue that if we start demanding what’s right or else and China decides on some vast financial retaliation, it would hurt itself far more than it could ever hurt us.
China some time back discovered that its way out of poverty was to allow industries to operate chiefly under the rules of free enterprise. By a per capita count, the country is about a fourth of the way there. We now need to help it learn that the only way it will ever achieve its aspirations for the nation as a whole and a dignified and lasting place as a world leader will be for it to act responsibly and fairly and to give up the dictatorial cruelties it learned from the murderous Mao Tse Tung.
That will take more than a meow now and then.
Examiner columnist Jay Ambrose is a former Washington opinion writer and editor of two dailies. He can be reached at Speaktojay@aol.com.
Decades ago, I was a reporter in Albany, N.Y., working for a newspaper at the foot of a hill that could be ascended only with huffing, puffing, knee endangerment and sweat unless you employed a trick.