Monday, February 23, 2009

US rights groups dismayed by Clinton

US human rights groups were furious that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared to be letting China off the hook on her current visit to Beijing. Her remarks have been widely interpreted in the US as a signal that she is prepared to put human rights on the back burner.

A spokesman for Amnesty International USA said he was “shocked and extremely disappointed” by Clinton’s remarks. “The United States is one of the only countries that can meaningfully stand up to China on human rights issues,” the spokesman said. “But by commenting that human rights will not interfere with other priorities, Secretary Clinton damages future US initiatives to protect those rights in China.”

Sophie Richardson, a director of Human Rights Watch, said: “Secretary Clinton’s remarks point to a diplomatic strategy that has worked well for the Chinese government — segregating human rights into a dead-end dialogue of the deaf.”

[Taipei Times]

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