From FoxNews: Bush to China: Emulate Taiwan.
Piquing China just days before meetings with its leaders, President Bush on Wednesday held up the self-governing island of Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, as a model of freedom "at all levels" that the communist giant should emulate. ...
In remarks sure to irritate his Chinese hosts, Bush prodded the communist nation to grant basic freedoms to its 1.3 billion people and further open its economy.
"We encourage China to continue down the road of reform and openness," Bush told an audience that stayed silent until its polite applause at the end. "By meeting the legitimate demands of its citizens for freedom and openness, China's leaders can help their country grow into a modern, prosperous, and confident nation."
His challenge to Beijing immediately followed lavish praise of Taiwan.
"By embracing freedom at all levels, Taiwan has delivered prosperity to its people and created a free and democratic Chinese society," Bush said.
Pointing to Taiwan -- as well as South Korea -- Bush said political freedoms are the inevitable product of the kind of economic liberalization China has begun pursuing.
"Men and women who are allowed to control their own wealth will eventually insist on controlling their own lives and their own future," he said. "As China reforms its economy, its leaders are finding that once the door to freedom is opened even a crack, it cannot be closed." [Emphasis added]
Robert Tracinski commented in yesterday's TIA Daily:
One of the most powerful good ideas that President Bush has articulated and unleashed on the international stage is the connection between freedom and prosperity -- that oppression dooms a nation to backwardness, stagnation, and poverty. Note that in this speech he adds another important corollary: the connection between economic freedom and political freedom.
Posted by Forkum at November 17, 2005 03:58 PM