US would continue to press China on rights violations: Clinton

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.

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