Blog: One world
Dave Leggett | 13 August 2003
China: human rights or more accurately, others' attitude to their abuse, is the key. The Japanese are not especially liked (regional superpower rivals, lots of history - Manchuria, rape of Nanking etc..). But for those pragmatic French and Germans? Let's do business and not worry too much about those nasty human rights issues. Softly, softly does it and whatever happens, don't embarass the Chinese - not good for business. Britain? Still carries colonial Hong Kong and Chris Patten baggage. Americans? Tough call - dollar good, but Bush administration seen as not friendly to China (eg Taiwan policy). Koreans? They also share a historical antipathy toward Japan and look up to the Chinese. Nice people to do business with. There'll be a lot more Sino-Korean trade and industrial cooperation in future years I think. Human rights? Workers' rights in China? What are they? Isn't there a great big carpet we can sweep that lot under?..
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...