As I’m typing this, White House staffers are busy setting out Mrs. Obama’s finest china, polishing the presidential silverware, and arranging fancy table decorations.
This evening, the President and Mrs. Obama will host a black-tie state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao and are reportedly prepared to woo the leader with promises of raising China’s profile in the global economy. This comes on the heels of comments by Mr. Hu slamming the current international monetary system, in which the U.S. dollar is the main actor, as “the product of the past.”
While President Bush only held a lunch for the Chinese President in 2006 to signal American disapproval of China’s human rights record, President Obama is throwing a fancy dinner party. In terms of protocol, which is highly regarded in Chinese culture, this dinner is a sign of great honor to Mr. Hu. But along with him comes his country’s record of forced abortions and persecution of Christians.
China continues to enforce a brutal one-child policy, under which women are often forced to undergo abortions — even into the last days of a pregnancy — or forced sterilization. There are numerous stories of women being dragged off to clinics or their family members being jailed and tortured until the women agree to abort their children. Family planning officials continuously monitor whether or not women are taking birth control and whether or not they try to have a second child.
While Christianity is spreading in China, it remains part of an underground network that must escape daily persecution by the government. House churches meet in secret, and believers must remain cautious and vigilant to avoid imprisonment or worse. The Gospel is spreading throughout China, making the government even more determined to squash its growth.
It is reprehensible to think that the U.S. government, to ensure continued Chinese financial favor, is willing to sweep the abhorrent issues of forced abortion and religious persecution under the red carpet.