Is an innocent billionaire in prison successful?

Yesterday, President Bush hosted Chinese President Hu Jintao. During the course of their joint press conference, President Bush made an interesting statement:

As the relationship between our two nations grows and matures, we can be candid about our disagreements. I’ll continue to discuss with President Hu the importance of respecting human rights and freedoms of the Chinese people.

China’s become successful because the Chinese people are experience (sic) the freedom to buy and to sell and to produce. And China can grow even more successful by allowing the Chinese people the freedom to assemble, to speak freely and to worship.

China is not successful. No amount of money can justify not having the freedom to assemble, to speak freely and to worship (or to not worship… that’s important, too). Money is good, but I’ll take freedom every time if the deal is one or the other. I suspect that more than a few Chinese agree.