Clinton to China: Protect human rights

May 3, 2012 at 1:59 PM
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BEIJING, May 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China Thursday to protect human rights, saying "no nation can or should deny those rights."

Clinton, speaking in Beijing, where she arrived for U.S.-China talks, did not mention the blind Chinese activist who left the U.S. Embassy in Beijing after fleeing house arrest, then urged U.S. officials to help get him and his family to the United States.

"I want them [U.S. officials] to protect human rights through concrete actions," Chen Guangcheng told CNN Thursday from his hospital room in Beijing. "We are in danger. If you can talk to [Hillary Clinton], I hope she can help my whole family leave China."

Clinton is in China with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither for discussion on several issues.

"As part of our dialogue," Clinton said, "the United States raises the importance of human rights and fundamental freedoms because we believe that all governments do have to answer to citizens' aspirations for dignity and the rule of law, and that no nation can or should deny those rights."

Clinton called the United States and China "thoroughly, inescapably interdependent."

"As President Obama and I have said many times, the United States believes that a thriving China is good for America, and a thriving America is good for China," she said. "So we have a strong interest in China's continued economic growth and if China's rising capabilities means that we have an increasingly able and engaged partner in solving the threats we face to both regional and global security, that is all good."

Clinton noted the two countries both seek to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

On Syria, she said, "it is essential that the international community work together to hold the regime and the others involved in violence accountable, because regrettably, the [U.N.] Security Council on which we both serve as current members is at stake."

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