Bush speaks to Chinese dissidents

July 29, 2008 at 7:27 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush will discuss his concerns about human rights in China when he travels to the Beijing Olympics, the White House said Tuesday.

Bush met with five Chinese dissidents and "assured them he will carry the message of freedom as he travels to Beijing for the game," press secretary Dana Perino said in a statement.

"He told the activists that engagement with Chinese leaders gives him an opportunity to make the United State s' position clear – human rights and religious freedom should not be denied to anyone," Perino said.

The group welcomed the President's strong commitment to human rights and religious freedom and urged him to continue to deliver that message not only to the Chinese leadership but also to all the people of China.

The five men -- Harry Wu, Wei Jingsheng, Rebiya Kadeer, Sasha Gong and Bob Fu -- "welcomed the president's strong commitment to human rights and religious freedom," she said.

Perino said Bush also stopped by a meeting between his national security adviser and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, where he noted the Olympics "presents the Chinese with an opportunity to demonstrate compassion on human rights and freedom."

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