It's about time.
The US government has joined the debate between China and the American computer companies about whether or not American-made computers sold in China will have features that will allow China to suppress the free speech of potential dissidents. The government has done so by calling for talks with China and the companies. Given the companies' past lack of spine in this regard, a reminder of who Americans are and what we stand for is in order.
Free speech is an American right, enshrined in the First Amendment ot the U.S. Constitution. As such, it is generally considered a handmaiden of democracy. Free speech has never been part of the Chinese culture or polity, which disregards the right of the individual in favor a larger units such as the family or the state. Not surprisingly, there are likely to be clashes when American companies try to do business in China (or vice-versa). Nevertheless, we stand up for individual freedom, the cornerstone of the American way of life.
Chinese dissidents DIED in Tian An Men Square just over twenty years ago, hoisting a replica of the Statue of Liberty, and standing up for American values. It is about time that we stood up for our own values, shoulder to shoulder with the dissidents in the country that represents the greatest threat in the world to American democracy.
Disclosure: Long Chinese ancestors.