Bush Readies Salvo on China's Rights Record

President's speech tomorrow will express 'deep concern,' US' 'firm opposition'
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2008 4:08 PM CDT
President Bush will give a speech tomorrow urging China to improve its stance on human rights.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Bush will urge the Chinese government toward greater openness and civil freedom, according to excerpts from a speech he’s scheduled give tomorrow in Thailand, the New York Times reports. Bush will keep his criticism mild, not wishing to use his visit to the Olympics to blast Beijing on its human-rights record—as some groups have wished.

“I have spoken clearly, candidly, and consistently with China’s leaders about our deep concerns over religious freedom and human rights,” the text reads. “America stands in firm opposition to China’s detention of political dissidents, human rights advocates, and religious activists. … We speak out for a free press, freedom of assembly, and labor rights not to antagonize China’s leaders but because trusting its people with greater freedom is the only way for China to develop its full potential.”