US would continue to press China on rights violations: Hillary

The US underlined the need for China to address Washington`s concerns on human rights violations in the country.

Updated: Jan 14, 2011, 23:23 PM IST

Washington: The US on Friday underlined the
need for China to address Washington`s concerns on human
rights violations in the country, ahead of a key visit of
Chinese President when the issue is expected to come up for
discussions.

The United States would continue to and voice its
concerns on the human rights violations in China, said
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, days ahead of the visit of
the Chinese President Hu Jintao to Washington.

On the human rights, a matter that remains at the
heart of American diplomacy, America will continue to speak
out and to press China when it censors bloggers and imprisons
activists, when religious believers, particularly those in
unregistered groups, are denied full freedom of worship," she
said while delivering the first Holbrooke Memorial lecture.

She said US will remain concerned when lawyers and
legal advocates are sent to prison simply for representing
clients who challenge the government`s positions, and when
some, like Chen Guangcheng, are persecuted even after they are
released.

As a founding member of the United Nations, "China
has committed to respecting the rights of all its citizens,
Clinton said, as 39 Tibetan associations and support groups in
the US today urged President Barack Obama to raise the issue
of Tibet, in particular human rights condition there, with his
Chinese counterpart at the White House next week.

Clinton said US has reiterate its call for the
release of Liu Xiaobo and the many other political prisoners
in China, including those under house arrest and those
enduring enforced disappearances, such as Gao Xhiasheng.

"We urge China to protect the rights of minorities in
Tibet and Xinjiang, the rights of all people to express
themselves and worship freely, and the rights of civil society
and religious organizations to advocate their positions within
a framework of the rule of law," the top US diplomat
underlined.

She reminded the Chinese leadership that a vibrant
civil society would help address some of China`s most pressing
issues from food safety to pollution to education to health
care.

"The longer China represses freedom, the longer it
will miss out on these opportunities and the longer that Nobel
Prize winners` empty chairs in Oslo will remain a symbol of a
great nation`s unrealized potential and unfulfilled promise,"
Clinton said. Clinton acknowledged the fears among China`s leaders
that political reforms could shake the stability of their
country and get in the way of its continuing essential
economic growth.

But she said examples from South Korea to Indonesia
has shown that embracing reforms can strengthen societies and
unleash new potential for development.

"It is clear that we cannot paper over differences,
nor should we try to do so," she said, adding "But the future
of our relationship can be strong if we each meet our
responsibilities as great nations".

Clinton reminded the Chinese leadership that embracing
the obligations that come with being a 21st century power will
help to realize a future that will give the Chinese people
even more, in fact unimagined opportunities.

"But that means accepting a share of the burden of
solving common problems, abiding by and helping to shape a
rules-based international order," she underlined.

PTI