Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived Tuesday in the Pacific Northwest where trade issues have been carefully massaged in recent days to put a cheery face on China's chronic problems with software piracy, an undervalued currency and a soaring trade surplus with the United States.That's great, and I am all for China actually respecting international patents instead of pirating software, movie, music, etc.
By kicking off his visit here, the Chinese president is focusing on a region where big-ticket trade -- for Boeing aircraft and Microsoft software -- is important to both the national and local economy. The Port of Seattle has been packed for nearly a decade with ships carrying goods to and from China.
Sweetening the terms of its trade with Washington state, China pledged last week to buy 80 Boeing airplanes for $5.2 billion and moved forward this week on a promise to crack down on the use of illegal software.
But what about basic human rights, like petitioning the government for a redress of grievances? Remember this?
Read this primer, and shake your head.