The President of China is visiting the US - and the Today Programme's first item after the eight o'clock news decides to focus on China's attitude to human rights (RealAudio), which "is not exactly compatible with Western standards".
Would the BBC care to give us an example ?
"One huge cause for concern is China's fondness for the death penalty ..."
So let's ask Ken Livingstone's ex, Kate Allen of Amnesty International, to give a little talk on how China is 'by far the worst offender'.
Now there's a case for a close look at China's USE of the death penalty - it is applied for cases of 'economic sabotage' for example. But Kate Allen's position is that ALL executions are a violation of human rights.
Her views are shared by only a minority of the UK and US populations, though by probably a majority of Today presenters. The death penalty has been compatible with western standards for most of the twentieth century, and is still used in the greatest Western nation. How strange that, of all the criticisms that could be levelled - lack of democracy, no freedom of expression, no freedom of religion, for example - that the BBC should choose this as an example of what's wrong with China.
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