On the question of human rights, so-called ‘Asian values’ aren’t what they used to be

From The Boston Globe:China

HANOI – As China’s President Hu Jintao welcomes President Bush to Beijing this weekend, he’s surely hoping to avoid another lecture on human rights like the one Bush delivered Wednesday in Kyoto, Japan. These days, however, it’s not only America or the international community that are pushing China and Vietnam towards greater respect for human rights. It’s their own citizens. In Hong Kong in recent years, democracy rallies have drawn hundreds of thousands of marchers; on the mainland, mass protests over corruption and environmental degradation have proliferated. Private property rights, the freedom to assemble and to criticize the government, and the expectation that government is bound by the rule of law, are all gradually becoming ”Asian values” – even in Hanoi.

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