Censuring China

EVEN those not subscribing to Donald Rumsfeld’s worldview would agree that China has a problem balancing its economic progress with democratic reforms. The US secretary of state surprised many in Asia and stunned China itself this weekend by launching a blistering attack on Beijing.

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sun 5 Jun 2005, 10:32 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:45 PM

Rumsfeld chose the unusual venue of Singapore — the city-state with majority ethnic Chinese population and not far from China — to lecture the rising superpower and Asian giant on democracy, reforms and liberalisation. Frankly, China has problems on all these fronts.

Although the country is not as closed and oppressive as it used to be under the tyranny of Mao, it still is a one-party state extremely intolerant of dissent. While it has taken big leaps on economic front and is asserting itself as a world power, it continues to live in dark ages when it comes to respect for human rights and democracy.

It is possible that Rumsfeld’s outburst against China may be pointing to the shape of things to come. Washington, wary of a resurgent China, has lately been trying to project India as a big regional player to counterbalance Beijing’s power. Not for nothing Condi Rice recently offered to help India become a world power. And now Rumsfeld has drawn a stark contrast between China and India saying while US relationship with India would grow in the months and years to come, he couldn’t be so sure with China.

If Rumsfeld was indeed voicing his master’s opinion, then we may be witnessing a significant shift in world power equations.

More news from