May 20, 2016

In Newly Released Speech Transcript, Bill Praised Chinese Dictator

In the new installment of the Clintons’ paid speech saga, Politico obtained the transcript of Bill Clinton’s March 2015, $285,000, closed-door speech to a China-U.S. business investment summit. In his speech, Clinton advocated for Chinese investment the U.S. and even went as far as praising the Chinese president:

“There may come a time when the U.S. and China will become involved in some irreconcilable conflict, as many pessimists believe, but it doesn’t have to happen if we work for the best and both plan for our security,” he said. “I think you can make a lot of money if you’re Chinese investing in America and I think you can make a lot of money if you’re American investing in China…I think the Chinese president is doing things that make sense. It’s a good time to invest there.”

However, it is hard to argue that Chinese President Xi Jinping is “doing things that make sense.” In March 2016, the Chinese government detained 20 signatories to a letter calling on Xi Jinping to resign. And in April 2015, barely two weeks after Bill’s speech, 5 women activists were jailed after publicly protesting against domestic violence in the country.

Several prominent figures have spoken out against the Chinese president’s clampdown. In December 2014, just a few months before Bill’s speech, President Obama cautioned about Xi’s quick consolidation of power:

“There are dangers in that. On issues of human rights, on issues of clamping down on dissent. He taps into a nationalism that worries his neighbors,” Obama said, noting maritime disputes in the region.

Instead of praising human rights violators for “doing things that make sense,” Bill would be better off just saying things that make sense.