Through The Static

August 6, 2008

Bush to Urge China to Improve Human Rights

Filed under: White People!,World News — disciplepete @ 10:10 pm

NY Times:

BANGKOK — On the eve of the Olympic Games in Beijing, President Bush said that he had “deep concerns” about basic freedoms in China and criticized the detention of dissidents and believers, even as he praised the extraordinary gains China has made since he first visited more than three decades ago, according to remarks released by the White House on Wednesday.

Mr. Bush’s remarks, part of a speech on Asia to be delivered in Bangkok on Thursday, distilled and recast previous statements critical of China’s record on human rights. But released only hours before he was to fly to Beijing on Thursday evening, they represented a rebuke to China’s leaders, though a measured one.

“I have spoken clearly, candidly, and consistently with China’s leaders about our deep concerns over religious freedom and human rights,” reads Mr. Bush’s draft speech, which the White House released early in part to draw attention to them, according to a spokesman. “And I have met repeatedly with Chinese dissidents and religious believers.”

“The United States believes the people of China deserve the fundamental liberty that is the natural right of all human beings,” says the draft of the speech, which mentions neither the Olympics nor specific abuses that have drawn new international criticism of the Chinese government. “So America stands in firm opposition to Chinas detention of political dissidents, human rights advocates, and religious activists.”

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