Final Word from Monday, April 26, 2004





When U.S. President Richard Nixon went to China in 1972 and reopened direct communications after 21 years of estrangement, he started a process that to a large extent dictated the terms of Václav Klaus' visit 32 years later. The U.S. decided then to look beyond ideology and to welcome China into the world community. Like other civilizations before it, China is a country whose rise to preeminence is predicated on what amounts to slave labor. Its currency is kept weak so that its labor costs are low and its products can sweep the globe. Because of its size, China has been getting its way for more than 30 years. It's becoming the great power of the 21st century. Klaus has been criticized for not talking more about human rights during his trip, and he did little to open up the Chinese market for Czech products. But who is Klaus to stand in China's way?

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