As economy grows, China backpedals on human rights

May 23, 2011

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Senator Harry Reid, center left, talks with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

For the last several years, it seemed like China’s economic growth was coupled with a gradual increase in openness. The 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing were supposed to signal that a new China had emerged. But the wave of pro-democracy uprisings in the Arab world has stoked fears among China’s leadership. Those fears have led to a government crackdown on dissent.

Phelim Kine, an Asia researcher with Human Rights Watch, discusses China’s recent spike in repression and how the U.S. and others might engage China on issues of human rights.