Bush's words on communism draw fire

Updated: 2007-06-14 23:42

China accused the United States on Thursday of harbouring a "Cold War" mentality over a tribute by US President George W. Bush to people who have died under communism.

"We express our strong dissatisfaction and stern opposition to the words and actions of the American side and have already lodged solemn (diplomatic) representations," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

"Some US political forces still cling to their 'Cold War' mentality and, out of political necessity, seek to provoke conflicts between different ideologies and social systems.

"This runs counter to the trend of the times and is unpopular."

Qin's remarks came after Bush unveiled a new memorial in Washington on Tuesday that mourns tens of millions of people who were killed under communist rule.

The memorial was dedicated 20 years to the day after Ronald Reagan stood at the infamous barrier dividing Berlin and urged Moscow to "tear down this wall."

"Like the communists, the followers of violent Islamic radicalism are doomed to fail," said Bush, who has often compared Islamist extremists to the Nazis and Soviet communists.

"By remaining steadfast in freedom's cause, we will ensure that a future American president does not have to stand in a place like this and dedicate a memorial to the millions killed by the radicals and extremists of the 21st century."

But Qin accused Bush of trying to score political points by attacking communism.

"The Chinese side calls on the US side to reject its 'Cold War' mentality, seek to reform its mistaken actions (and) stop interfering in the affairs of other nations," Qin said.

Qin admitted China's Communist Party has made mistakes in the past, but insisted the party was leading the nation's development drive.

"Although ... we have had some difficulties and twists and turns, the Communist Party of China today is the driving force of the nation's prosperity and in maintaining the nation on a path of peaceful development," he said.

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