I just saw the images of Hu Jintao visit to the White House. I heard the speeches and of course, I saw the image of the Chinese woman, an accredited journalist from with the Epoch Times, who disrupted the Chinese President's speech. I couldn’t help thinking that the visit was a missed opportunity for the US.
- President Hu Jintao accomplished his objectives. He came to the US, had a great time in Seattle, met with US business leaders, came to Washington, met President Bush, showed his party and his people that he could stand near Bush without conceding anything. Bush pressed, but he got polite smiles, promises, and a warm shoulder.
- The image of Jintao standing next to Bush is a powerful symbol because it shows that China is becoming an essential country to the US in the sense that a Chinese leader is able to come to the White House and the US without bending over backward to make Bush and the US happy.
- I believe that President Bush missed an opportunity to make a powerful point about freedom and human rights when the Chinese woman started to disrupt Hu Jintao’s speech. He should have said something like, “You see, Mr. President, the great thing about America is that anybody is free to express their opinion even if when they do it in a disruptive and disrespectful manner.”
- In short, I believe he should have used what was an embarrassing moment to show the differences between the two countries and to say with subtlety that America is great not just because of its economic power, but also because it allows its people to protest.