The Feb. 21 Washington Post editorial, “Why would Mr. Obama side with China?” suggested that the Kremlin ended Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov’s internal exile after the Senate renamed the Soviet Embassy site Andrei Sakharov Plaza. In fact, new Soviet leadership, led by Mikhail Gorbachev and Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, ended Sakharov’s house arrest in Gorki as part of an overall reform campaign that included increased emigration for Soviet Jews and other minorities as well as a fundamental change in the Soviet attitude toward human rights.

If and when China finally obtains a reform leadership, then perhaps it will also view the world “through the eyes of humanity,” as Shevardnadze said in 1986. A feckless congressional effort to rename the location of the Chinese Embassy will not be a factor in any Chinese decision.

– Melvin A. Goodman, Bethesda

Read the entire article on the Washington Post editorial page.

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