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Consider the case of the Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who recently died while serving an 11-year prison sentence for calling for democracy in China.China's treatment of dissidents like Liu is nothing short of savage. Yet Western leaders have offered only a few carefully phrased diplomatic statements criticizing it.I can only wonder how many Western leaders in recent years have raised Liu's case with their Chinese counterparts behind closed doors. China's treatment of Hong Kong has gone similarly uncontested by Western leaders.Why are Western countries so reluctant to criticize China's behavior more loudly and consistently? Even as Orban's Hungary rejects the obligations of EU membership, it receives more than 5.5 billion euros ($6.4 billion) from the EU each year, while contributing less than 1 billion euros to the common budget.Judging by the EU's growing tolerance of illiberalism, some EU leaders may well be prepared to contemplate a closer relationship with Erdogan's Turkey.
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