Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bush chides China on human rights

President Bush, in a speech scheduled on the eve of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, firmly upbraided the Chinese government for its human rights policies and urge its people to embrace "openness."

"America stands in firm opposition to China's detention of political dissidents, human rights advocates and religious activists," Bush says.

"We speak out for a free press, freedom of assembly, and labor rights, not to antagonize China's leaders, but because trusting its people with greater freedom is the only way for China to develop its full potential."

"I have spoken clearly, candidly and consistently with China's leaders about our deep concerns over religious freedom and human rights," he says. "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."

The remarks were delivered in the Thai capital, Bangkok, a day before the Games' opening. After delivering the speech, Bush will travel to China for the opening ceremony on Friday.


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