Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Obama And Clinton Must Maintain Human Rights Pressure On China

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while on a tour of Asia,  has said that human rights issues in China should not interfere with areas of possible cooperation with China. Secretary Clinton mentioned climate change and the global economic downturn as other issues in U.S.–China relations.

As important as these issues are, how can the freedom of over a billion people not be at the top of the Obama-Clinton agenda for our China policy? 

Here is what Amnesty International says about Mrs. Clinton’s remarks–

“T. Kumar, Amnesty International USA advocacy director for Asia and the Pacific, made the following statement in response to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments to reporters that human rights will not be at the top of her agenda in her first visit to China”

“Amnesty International is shocked and extremely disappointed by U.S. Secretary Clinton’s comments that human rights will not be a priority in her diplomatic engagement with China.

“The United States is one of the only countries that can meaningfully stand up to China on human rights issues. But by commenting that human rights will not interfere with other priorities, Secretary Clinton damages future U.S. initiatives to protect those rights in China.

“The Chinese people face a dire situation. Crackdowns on Tibetans, Uighurs and religious groups such as the Falun Gong are widespread, resulting in thousands of political prisoners–some of whom have been executed. Half a million people are currently in labor camps. Women face forced abortion and sterilization as part of China’s enforcement of its one-child policy.

“It’s not too late for Secretary Clinton to do the right thing for the Chinese people. Amnesty International urges Secretary Clinton to repair the damage caused by her statement and publicly declare that human rights are central to U.S.-China relations before she leaves Beijing.”

I agree with Amnesty’s view of this question. I hope that President Obama and Secretary Clinton will reflect further on this concern and choose a more just and decent path. 

Here is the web home of Amnesty International USA.

February 21, 2009 - Posted by | Barack Obama | , , , ,


  1. I think Clinton is being pragmatic. It’s hypocritcal of us to point fingers are others’ human right’s abuses while ignoring ours. Obama promised to shut down Guantanomo Bay and bring detainees to trial. He also said we do not torture. Although he has shut down Guantanomo Bay, he’s refused to bring detainees to trail and he’s refused to show the evidence for which they were held.

    He’s also opened up a prison in Afghanistan in which people will not have access to lawyers and will be held indefinatley, nor will they be shown why they are accused and what they are accused of and what’s the evidence.

    Remember the bruhaha over Bush deleting Whie House emails? Well, they were recovered but Obama has refused to allow lawyers to look at them because in the future he might need to do the same thing. Many people refuse to see Obama for what he really is–a politican who’s going back on his promises just like every other politican.

    Why do we have to give him a chance? People keep asking to give him time and they will be saying that until his term expires and he’s running again.

    So what if he’s inheriting a country that was left in a helish state by Bush? He had the chance to prove himself and failed. He shoudl be held accountable. He should not be immune to criticis just because he’s the first black president.

    Comment by Saleema | February 22, 2009

  2. Obama needs to keep his eyes on these american balls for now, china will not be swayed by obama only by the us dollar which is the us consumer.

    Comment by bill brady | February 25, 2009

  3. It is always the right time to address the freedom of all people.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | February 26, 2009

  4. Saleema–I think Mr. Obama will be held accoutable by folsk such as yourself and by a wide cross-section of the public from left, right and center. He is, as you say, a political figure who will make many promises and that not all of them will be kept.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | February 26, 2009

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