Ok, I’m confused. I know that China virtually owns this country by holding billions of our debt. However, I fail to understand the criticism of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for calling Chinese President Hu Jintao a “dictator.” Hu is the head of a government that arrests dissidents, censures news, restricts the exercise of religion, blocks access to information, and does not allow opposing political parties or viewpoints. What was Reid supposed to call him, a voice of freedom?
Reid attracted criticism when he said on a local radio show that “I am going to go back to Washington tomorrow and meet with the president of China. He is a dictator. He can do a lot of things through the form of government they have.”
He later said “[m]aybe I shouldn’t have said dictator, but they have a different type of government than we have and that’s an understatement.”
Just for the record, he had it right the first time. Merriam-Webster defines dictator as “(1) . . . one holding complete autocratic control . . . one ruling absolutely and often oppressively . . . (2) one that dictates.”
Sounds like Hu to me. Civil libertarians should applaud Reid for speaking plainly about the truth of the Chinese government and its treatment of dissidents.