In the past, China brought to mind a humble country of rural farmers growing rice and taking shade under their strangely cone-shaped, hand-woven hats, but now, China is demanding attention as an upcoming super power and is no longer the once isolated country relying on money earned through modest means. Although China's economic, industrial, and technological advancements are impressive in terms of speed and expansion into foreign markets, the nation's insatiable yearning for global acceptance and influence is not all good news; when it comes to basic human rights and moral governance, China is as backwards and barbaric as any fledgling, third-world country struggling to stay afloat.
Currently, China is basking in the joys of constant recognition for rapid integration into international trade; however, China's need to maintain strong government control has led to strict censorship and little political freedoms for Chinese citizens. What most Americans take for granted - the generous privileges bestowed by the U.S. Constitution's ten amendments - the Chinese struggle to exercise even the basic rights listed within the first amendment: freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.
True, China's stringent interpretations of its laws are beginning to relax, but for the most part, China's government still exudes its communist principles and totalitarian style of ruling.
Freedom of speech is highly restricted, and the government does not fear taking action to enforce obedience of the mouth, even to those who are not Chinese. Just recount American Vice President's visit to Shanghai in 2004. Chinese leaders promised not to censor Chaney's speech, yet when his words were publicized the following day, his speech was modified to conceal any mention of civil liberties. For example, the phrase "rising prosperity and expanding freedom" was changed to only read "rising prosperity," but fortunately, many of China's young and educated...