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Keep an eye on ChinaPosted Tuesday, April 15, 2008, at 2:48 PM
Protests, verbal and otherwise, continue toward China as it prepares to host the Olympic Games.
The Olympic torch has been endangered numerous times by protesters.
Sports journalists are now complaining China's trying to censor their stories.
Meanwhile, General Motors sells cars there -- Buicks are among the most popular cars in China, according to auto magazines -- and Chrysler is preparing to import Chinese-made vehicles here. Other types of American firms -- and companies from other Western countries as well -- are making vast economic inroads as well.
So are we slowly, bit by bit, encouraging democracy in a Communist country? Will, or can, materialism gradually transform a society?
Or is American industry groveling at the feet of a country in some ways every bit as repressive as Russia of Cold War days? And is the U.S. more or less encouraging China's ways through financial support?
I'd like to see louder support of China's dissidents from the U.S. government, no matter how it may affect future riches. It probably won't happen under any future administration.
Frankly, I suspect U.S. industry sees China as another source of cheap labor. Let's hope that's not true. Enough American jobs have been lost.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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