Friday, May 4, 2012

Romney's Distortion

Memo to Mitt Romney: Prospective Presidential GOP candidate 2012.

Mr. Romney:

Once again you distort the truth. The incident in China where the Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng at first sought refuge in the US embassy and then after six days when US officials conveyed an apparent Chinese threat of retribution to his family Chen decided to leave the embassy protection.

Whether the Chinese did in fact make a threat or imply a threat and if American diplomats did or did not convey that possibility to Chen we will probably never know. Sensitive diplomacy requires official zippered lips. I would, however, not put it past the Chinese to make such a threat given the fact that they continue to deny that anyone, but soldiers died in the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

The fact that Mr. Chen, who is blind and a lawyer, managed to escape to the US Embassy just before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner arrived in Beijing for high-level talks is a bit suspect and no doubt was designed for the highest publicity value.

Mr. Romney you called it day of shame for the Obama Administration. It is a day of shame for you and your continued distortion of unsubstantiated facts.  I know you kept saying “if reports are true,” but just the suggestion of diplomatic impropriety and using the word shame is a political distortion.

Mr. Chen is using the system too, and rightfully so, to his advantage. He is an outspoken critic of the Chinese political system on human rights and he quickly expressed “disappointment” in U.S. officials.
Later in the day he conveyed to a Congressional hearing via the telephone that he now would like to come to the United States for a period of rest.

This is sensitive stuff at a crucial time of Sino/American negotiations. It is not the time for politics on either side.

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