Bush should support this move toward openness in China

While many Americans are focused on President Bush's current tour of East Asia, some have overlooked a big political gamble involving the Chinese President Hu Jintao and the student protests that shook the Middle Kingdom in the spring of 1989. 

As noted at the American Thinker on September 8th, Hu has decided to rehabilitate a predecessor whose death sparked the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

In April of 1989, the death of reformist leader Hu Yaobang (no relation) was a rare chance for thousands of Chinese across the country to express their frustration at the Communist regime over the slow pace political reform.  Accused by Communist hardliners of allowing "bourgeois liberalism" to spread, Hu Yaobang was forced to resign in 1987. 

While rarely mentioned in state media since his fall from power, Hu Yaobang has remained popular among average Chinese for rehabilitating millions of lower ranking officials who had their personal reputations destroyed by Chairman Mao's decade—long Cultural Revolution.  

The New York Times noted the internal debate within the leadership:

Four of the nine members of the ruling Politburo Standing Committee raised concerns about holding an event to remember Mr. Hu. They suggested the rehabilitation of his reputation could spark new unrest or lead to calls to review the events surrounding the 1989 crackdown, according to people told about the leadership's debate on the issue.

With millions of Chinese of suffering from a variety of social ills Beijing's number one domestic concern has always been promoting economic growth and maintaining social stability. 

In his efforts to persuade the party leadership to allow more political and religious freedom, President Bush should welcome the President Hu's bold decision and try to him realize that greater freedom of expression will make the Middle Kingdom stronger, not weaker.

Brian J. Schwarz   11 19 05

While many Americans are focused on President Bush's current tour of East Asia, some have overlooked a big political gamble involving the Chinese President Hu Jintao and the student protests that shook the Middle Kingdom in the spring of 1989. 

As noted at the American Thinker on September 8th, Hu has decided to rehabilitate a predecessor whose death sparked the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

In April of 1989, the death of reformist leader Hu Yaobang (no relation) was a rare chance for thousands of Chinese across the country to express their frustration at the Communist regime over the slow pace political reform.  Accused by Communist hardliners of allowing "bourgeois liberalism" to spread, Hu Yaobang was forced to resign in 1987. 

While rarely mentioned in state media since his fall from power, Hu Yaobang has remained popular among average Chinese for rehabilitating millions of lower ranking officials who had their personal reputations destroyed by Chairman Mao's decade—long Cultural Revolution.  

The New York Times noted the internal debate within the leadership:

Four of the nine members of the ruling Politburo Standing Committee raised concerns about holding an event to remember Mr. Hu. They suggested the rehabilitation of his reputation could spark new unrest or lead to calls to review the events surrounding the 1989 crackdown, according to people told about the leadership's debate on the issue.

With millions of Chinese of suffering from a variety of social ills Beijing's number one domestic concern has always been promoting economic growth and maintaining social stability. 

In his efforts to persuade the party leadership to allow more political and religious freedom, President Bush should welcome the President Hu's bold decision and try to him realize that greater freedom of expression will make the Middle Kingdom stronger, not weaker.

Brian J. Schwarz   11 19 05