Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The president of China

is here in the US, promising to crack down on software piracy and respect intellectual property rights of American and other inventors.
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.

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.
That's great, and I am all for China actually respecting international patents instead of pirating software, movie, music, etc.

But what about basic human rights, like petitioning the government for a redress of grievances? Remember this?

Read this primer, and shake your head.