It is time for the United States to stop trading with China and ban Americans from travelling there. Why? Look at the U.S. Department of State’s most recent annual report on human rights around the world.
“The (Chinese) government’s human rights record remained poor and worsened in some areas,” the report notes. “Tens of thousands of political prisoners remained incarcerated (in 2009).”
U.S. relations with Egypt should also be frozen, because “the government’s respect for human rights remained poor, and serious abuses continued in many areas…Security forces used unwarranted lethal force and tortured and abused prisoners and detainees, in most cases with impunity.”
No American politician would consider sanctions on China, the U.S.’s second largest trade partner, or Egypt, one of its closest allies in the Arab world. They should, if they followed the logic that has underpinned five decades of a trade embargo on Cuba and a ban on travel to the island for most Americans.
Proponents of maintaining the sanctions routinely cite the State Department’s human rights reports on Cuba. The most recent, for 2009, lists 194 political prisoners and criticizes “harsh and life-threatening” prison conditions.